Measure up for National Obesity Awareness Week

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Tuesday, January 13th, 2015
As part of National Obesity Awareness Week (12-18 January) the Public Health Agency (PHA) is asking people to measure up to see if they may be inching towards bad health. More than three-fifths (61%) of adults in Northern Ireland are overweight or obese, and having a waistline of 37 inches or more for a man and 32 inches or more for a woman can put you at greater risk of developing heart disease, some cancers and type 2 diabetes. Dr Tracy Owen, Consultant in Public Health Medicine at the PHA, said, “We want people to think about whether they are inching towards poor health and to take positive action to address it if they are. “Making small changes to your lifestyle can have a big impact on your health and wellbeing. Simple things like thinking about what you’re buying in the supermarket and swapping fatty foods for something a bit healthier can make a real difference to your health. “Opting for smaller portions is also a realistic practical change you can make, and combining these better eating habits and increasing your levels of physical activity are great ways to better manage your weight.” Building physical activity into our daily routines is something that can be done to help us manage our weight. Walking is one of the simplest forms of exercise. It doesn’t cost you anything and has many health benefits. Walking at a brisk pace can make you feel good, reduce anxiety, help you sleep better, reduce blood pressure and help you manage your weight. It doesn’t have to be complicated either – just build it in to everyday activities such as walking to the shops or work instead of driving. For more tips on portion sizes, healthier eating and getting active, visit Also, check out the PHA’s updated Choose to Live Better booklet on watching your waistline, which now includes a pull-out section for a weekly meal planner and shopping list, as well as food and physical activity diaries –
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