National Obesity Awareness Week

Eating well and being physically active can have a very positive impact on our health – from the amount of energy we have when we get up in the morning to protecting us against chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease and cancer later in life. It can also prevent weight gain and obesity.

National Obesity Awareness week commenced on the 9th January 2017 and with it running until the 15th January 2017 the Public Health Agency (PHA) would love the UK to come together in a national New Year’s resolution to help improve health by cooking healthier recipes, cutting out snacks and getting a bit more active.

Did you know these facts about obesity?

  1. Having a waistline of 37 inches or more for a man and 32 inches or more for a woman can put you at a greater risk of developing heart disease, some cancers and Type 2 diabetes.
  2. Stats from the 2015-16 Northern Ireland Health survey show that 60% of adults were either overweight (34%) or obese (26%).
  3. The percentage of adults classed as obese or overweight has increased from the level reported in 1997 (56%), although has remained at a similar level since 2005/06 (59%).
  4. 25% of children are overweight (16%) or obese (9%).

How can you tell if you are overweight?

In order to work out if you are overweight or suffering with obesity you will need to:

  1. Measure your waist – this will see if you are at an increased risk of developing health problems.
  2. Check your weight and calculate your body mass index (BMI)

What tips you can use to start your journey towards a healthy weight?

We have noted some of the following tips from each of the five food groups provided by the PHA that will start your journey towards making healthier choices in life.

  • Keep a tub of carrot, pepper and cucumber sticks in the fridge for healthy nibbles.
  • Low-fat natural yogurt is a great way to give a creamy texture in chilli or curry instead of cream or crème fraiche.
  • Like cereal in the morning? Aim for wholegrain ones that have no added sugar and are low in salt.
  • Like an egg? Try poaching, scrambling or boiling instead of frying.
  • If you like fizzy drinks, try diluting fruit juice with sparkling water.


Making just a few of these small adjustments to your everyday routine now, could improve your health and wellbeing in the long run!

Information sources: