Health programme being launched to tackle Fenland’s obesity problem

PUBLISHED: 14:33 06 February 2014 | UPDATED: 14:33 06 February 2014

Fenland people are among the most obese in the country

Fenland people are among the most obese in the country

Archant

A health programme is being launched in Fenland on Tuesday to help people lose weight and reduce their risk of getting diabetes and heart disease.

A study carried out by Public Health England has indicated that 72.4 per cent of adults in the district are obese, making it one of the worst areas in the country.

CHIP – the Community Health Improvement Programme – consists of eight 90-minute fortnightly sessions led by trained dieticians and physical activity trainers.

Topics covered include information on healthy eating, understanding food labels, portion control and there are regular weigh-ins for each participant.

Sessions also involve some moderate physical activity with a focus on encouraging walking.

To participate you need to be 18 or over, have a body mass index (BMI) of 28 or more and must be referred by a doctor.

Councillor Mike Cornwell, Fenland District Council’s Cabinet member responsible for health and wellbeing, said: “Fenland, like the rest of the country, has a major problem with obesity and related illnesses. Often people just have to make a few small lifestyle changes to radically improve their health. The CHIP programme will help them do that.”

One series of morning sessions (10.30am-12 noon) starts in Wisbech at the Queen Mary Centre next Tuesday.

Another evening one (6.30-8pm) kicks off at the King Edward Centre in Chatteris on the same day.

For people who are interested but cannot make those dates, an extra programme will be running at the Skoulding Suite in March Town Hall on the first and third Tuesdays of each month (10.15-11.15am) throughout the year.

For more information, call 01480 376300 or email chip1@nhs.net.

Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk are above the national average for the percentage of people with a body mass index of 25 and above.

The Fens is the fattest in the region with King’s Lynn and West Norfolk not far behind at 70.3 per cent and Cambridge a much more respectable 54.3 per cent with Norwich 57.8 per cent.

People are also being urged to sign up to the nationwide Swapathon campaign encouraging healthier eating.

The campaign, part of Change4Life, seeks to get people to make one small swap to their everyday food and drink to reduce the amount of fat, sugar and calories in their diet.

Those that sign up will get a free Smart Swap pack with more information and ideas, as well as money-off vouchers to help them start swapping.

For more details, visit www.nhs.uk/change4life/Pages/change-for-life.aspx

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