What we eat and how we eat has changed a lot in recent years. We are eating bigger portions, cooking less at home, eating out more, and often eating whilst doing something else. We are replacing water and milk with high calorie, sweetened drinks, such as soft drinks and fruit drinks, and are eating less wholegrain and fibre. There has also been a huge increase in the availabilty and marketing of processed foods, which are higher in sugar, fat and salt. These are all factors contributing to the obesity epidemic.
Obesity is a risk factor for many diseases including diabetes, coronary heart disease and some cancers. The associated cost to the Welsh NHS for obesity and its related problems was estimated to be £73 million for the obese population and £86 million for the overweight and obese population combined, back in 2008/9.
Brief advice for our patients:-
- Eat well including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Fruit and veg are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including folate, vitamin C and potassium
- Eating well can make you feel better about yourself and give you more energy
- Food plays a vital role in acheiving and maintaining a healthy weight
- 5 a day: Aim to eat 5 portions of a variety of fruit and veg each day. A portion for an adult is 80g and for children a portion is roughly an amount they can fit into their hands.
- Snack swap: swap high fat and high sugar snacks to healthier options.
- Portion swap: reduce portion sizes. Try using a smaller plate. Aim for a third of the plate to be vegetables as this will help you to feel full.
- Cut back fat: reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet.
- Watch the salt: eat no more than 6g of salt a day for adults and less tha 5g for children (7-10 years), 3g (4-6 years) and 2g (1 - 2 years)
The clinicans at St Isan Road Surgery are fully trained to give advice on living a healthy lifestyle. We would highly recommend our patients book an appointment with our Senior Practice Nurse, Sister Susie Freeman who is fully adept at providing lifestyle advice to our patients.
For more information you can visit:-
- Change For Life: www.change4lifewales.org.uk
- Food Cardiff website contains a 'find my nearest' map of all food related initiatives and projects: www.foodcardiff.com
- Food Co-ops for fresh fruit and vegetables on a weekly basis at wholesale prices. The website enables patients to find their nearest Co-op: www.foodcoopswales.org.uk
- Pregant women of women with a child under 4 years old may be eligible for Health Satrt vouchers. These can be used to purchase plain fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables. Further information can be foudn at www.healthstart.nhs.uk