Get fit not fat!

Britain - fat man of europe
Britain - fat man of europe

For those who tend to pile on the pounds over Christmas there’s the offer of a brand new start in the New Year.

Community dieticians are running a campaign, linked to the NHS Forth Valley website.

‘Choose to Lose...and keep weight off for good!’ will encourage people wanting to shed weight to keep a diary.

Called ‘Diet Diaries Go Digital’ it launches on Monday, January 26.

Evidence suggests that keeping a diary is one of the first steps to successful long term weight loss and anyone accessing the site can either download the free diary or explore some of the mobile apps that can help track food intake on the go.

The Choose To Lose website offers practical advice and information on getting started, eating well and becoming more active.

It has links to local physical activity groups and there is a range of downloadable resources, worksheets and links to mobile apps.

Pamela Murray, public health dietician, said: “Keeping a diet diary is a great way to help you stay focused and on track. It can make you aware of what and how much you are actually eating.

“It can also help you identify what changes you can make to improve your lifestyle and this will ultimately help you lose weight and keep it off for longer.”

Dieticians will also be setting up a stand in the atrium at Forth Valley Royal Hospital on Tuesday, January 27, when they’ll have food displays and be on hand to answer questions.

Staff, together with patients and the public, will be encouraged to fill in an online quiz which can be accessed via the website at: www.nhsforthvalley.com/weight

A winner will be selected on Valentine’s Day and the healthy prize is a seasonal fruit hamper. So why not visit the site and test your weight management knowledge?

Information packs with Choose To Lose resources have been distributed to GP practices, community pharmacies, local libraries, colleges and workplaces throughout Forth Valley.

One in four British adults is obese, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, prompting fears that the UK has become the “fat man of Europe”.

The UK has the highest level of obesity in Western Europe, ahead of countries such as France, Germany, Spain and Sweden, according to the 2013 report.

Obesity levels in the UK have more than trebled in the last 30 years and, on current estimates, more than half the population could be obese by 2050.

The cause of the rapid rise in obesity has been blamed on our modern lifestyles, including the prevalence of the car, TVs, computers, desk-bound jobs and high-calorie food. It is no exaggeration to say that it is the biggest public health crisis facing the UK today.

The consequences of obesity include diabetes, heart disease and cancer, and people dying needlessly from avoidable diseases.

Britain has become an “obese society” where being overweight is “normal”. It is a trend three decades in the making which, according to experts, will take several more to reverse.

For more on the ‘Choose To Lose’ plan in Forth Valley simple email: pamela.murray1@nhs.net