OBESE and overweight people in south Warwickshire are being urged to shed the pounds.
NHS South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is issuing a plea to thousands of overweight adults and children in the area to take action ahead of Obesity Awareness Week, which runs until Monday (January 13).
Dr David Spraggett, chair at NHS Warwickshire CCG, said: “Latest statistics show that in Warwickshire 62 per cent of adults and 18.9 per cent of children in Year 6 are classified as overweight or obese. That’s a high number of people living in our area who are at risk of serious health conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, a range of cancers and poor mental health.
“The risk is higher the more weight a person gains and the longer they are overweight for, but the good news is small changes that are kept up over time can make a real difference.
“We would encourage anyone who is overweight or obese to look for advice at www.nhs.uk and www.warwickshire.go.uk/keepingactive.
“If you need further help and support GP practices can also signpost patients to other useful services. These include local weight loss groups and exercise on prescription, where the patient is referred to a local active health team for a number of sessions under the supervision of a qualified trainer.”
Obesity is the second biggest preventable cause of cancer in the UK and more than one in 20 cancer cases are caused by excess weight. Evidence from Cancer Research UK shows bowel, kidney, ovarian and liver cancers are more likely to be caused by being overweight than by smoking tobacco.
Making small lifestyle changes such as being more physically active, following a healthy, balanced diet and cutting down on sugary snacks can make all the difference.
Taking the stairs instead of the lift, walking or cycling instead of using the car for short trips and doing some physical work in the garden are just some of the steps that people can take.
Dr Spraggett added: “Children who are overweight could face serious problems in later life. So, making sure that children are active and eating healthily is vitally important. Children’s portion sizes should match their age. Feeding children more will not make them grow any faster but will lead to extra fat being stored in their bodies.
“All children should be physically active for at least one hour a day. Parents can help by encouraging their child to find activities they enjoy and by building physical activity into family life.”
People can make a pledge during Obesity Awareness Week to change just one small habit that will help to fight obesity. Visit www.noaw.org.uk for more information.