Campaign launched to help Harlow’s obesity crisis

WITH up to almost two in three people across Essex carrying excess weight, Essex County Council has launched a weight management campaign to tackle the county’s obesity problem.

Essex Weighs In is a countywide initiative to challenge the norm that being overweight is not a problem, and promote simple realistic changes which can create a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.

The Essex Weighs In website allows people to create a personalised profile, where they can log their weight and pledge to act upon different healthy lifestyle changes, such as eating more fruit and exercising. There’s even the chance to compete against other districts in a bid to see which part of Essex is the healthiest.

As well as free resources such as recipes and exercise advice, the website also has a community focus, with the inclusion of blogs, which allow residents to share their own experience, in their own words, of their healthy living and weight management journey.

Cllr Anne Brown, Cabinet Member for Communities and Healthy Living, said: “The increasing and unacceptable numbers of Essex residents who are overweight or obese is a major concern. Not only does excess weight and obesity have a real impact on our resident’s lives, but it also puts a strain on our services.

“Essex Weighs In is spearheading improvements in lifestyle choices by creating a community approach with a county wide health initiative. Whether you need to lose weight, do more exercise, or support others, our campaign acts as an invaluable resource to get the county on the road to a healthier and happier lifestyle.”

Dr Mike Gogarty, Director of Public Health at Essex County Council, added: “Obesity can reduce life expectancy by an average of three to 10 years and increases the risk of many serious illnesses, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and cancer.

“Many of the health issues our residents suffer through being overweight are preventable. What is needed is a shift in perception, and it’s important that our residents start to take more responsibility for their health by reviewing their lifestyle and making long-term changes.

“Essex Weighs In is a free tool for residents and I am confident that it will encourage better levels of fitness and a healthy BMI, which can help prevent health problems later in life.”

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