Wells outlines progress on tackling obesity

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info@newrytimes.com
Monday, December 15th, 2014
Politics
Health Minister Jim Wells has reiterated his commitment and drive to tackle the prevalence of overweight and obesity throughout our population as he published a two year report on progress against Northern Ireland’s obesity prevention strategy.

Health Minister Jim Wells

A Fitter Future for All 2012-2022, aims to; Empower the population of Northern Ireland to make healthy choices, reduce the risk of overweight and obesity related diseases and improve health and well-being, by creating an environment that supports a physically active lifestyle and a healthy diet. The Minister said, “As we are now well aware, being overweight or obese can have a huge impact on an individual’s life. “If we do not prevent the prevalence of overweight and obesity it will eventually put an unnecessary strain on health services, as well as reducing the quality of life, and indeed potentially the length of that life, for many people. “Eating healthily, taking exercise, not smoking and reducing alcohol consumption therefore will all contribute to reducing demand on the health service, both in the short and the longer term, and enable funds to be redirected to frontline services. “In addition a healthier lifestyle can do much to maintain or improve good physical health and mental wellbeing.” The Minister continued, “The impacts of addressing the issue of overweight and obesity across the life course of the population of Northern Ireland may take a number of years before they take effect, which is why it is so important to enable and inspire our children and young people to be more knowledgeable and responsible about the food they eat and the amount of exercise they do, so they can take those good habits into adulthood. Wells added, “I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge all those who have supported this work to date and hope that the same level of drive and commitment will be applied to the next stage of the framework as it is faces its first formal review in 2015.” The Update Report is available on the DHSSPS website.

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