A weighty Wigan issue

Obesity problem
Obesity problem

ONE in four adults in Wigan borough is clinically obese and health chiefs have urged folk to act now as part of a national weight loss drive.

Today sees the start of National Obesity Week and the Council has revealed that more than 680 enrolled on its Trim Down Shape Up programme have lost a massive 1,967kg

between them – the equivalent of 19,670 pies, 17,407 burgers or one large elephant!

Despite the success, Prof Kate Ardern, director of public health for Wigan borough, said there is still cause

for concern.

She added: “In Wigan 25.8 per cent of the adult population are classified as obese and although this has reduced slightly over recent years it is still high.

“We know that men in particular are less likely to visit their doctor and less likely to take their weight and health as seriously as women.

“Being overweight and obese is associated with a range of health problems including type two diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

“I would urge all Wiganers to start the New Year with a resolution to join the programme, get fit and healthy and lose weight.”

Obesity among adults has increased sharply over the last decade. The proportion who were categorised as obese has increased from 13 per cent of men in 1993 to 25 per cent in 2011 and from 16 per cent of women to 26 per cent.

By 2050 obesity is predicted to affect 60 per cent of adult men and 50 per cent of adult women.

In adults, obesity is commonly defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more and overweight adults are those with a BMI of 25 or more.

Due to the rise of obesity-related diseases, the impact on the health of communities the costs to the NHS, and the reluctance of men to access more traditional weight loss programmes,

Trim Down Shape Up aims to promote positive and lifelong behavioural change in men. Once enrolled on the programme male fitness coaches will support men to take charge of their health, get fitter and shift excess pounds. The programme concentrates on fun physical activity while also providing information on healthy eating and providing motivational support with groups of like-minded men.

It helps men to take charge of their health, fuel their fitness plan, shift excess weight and encourages them to become more physically active both in the sessions and outside them.

Dr Ardern added: “Trim Down Shape Up has been designed specifically for men to provide them with a fitness and weight loss programme that is fun, full of camaraderie and is easy to access. This free 12-week programme is run at venues around the borough and at varying times of the day and evening so all can access it whether working shifts, traditional hours or not working.”

Coun Keith Cunliffe, cabinet member for adults and health at Wigan Council, said: “The Trim Down Shape Up programme is helping hundreds of men across the borough get fit and healthy.

The latest figures are fantastic – demonstrating the success of the programme. I’d certainly recommend it to those who are interested in losing weight and getting active in 2014.”