‘Choose To Live Better’ Festival

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The Northern Obesity Partnership is currently supporting a fortnight of events and activities up to January 20 across the Northern Trust Area aimed at supporting people in making healthier choices.

Sabrina Lynn, Senior Health Improvement Specialist with the Northern Trust and Northern Obesity Partnership Co-Ordinator said: “Obesity is one of the greatest health challenges we face as individuals, families and communities but it’s important to focus on the positives in order to encourage and motivate change. The Northern Obesity Partnership aims to support individuals, families and communities to take positive steps to longer term lifestyle changes”.

The aim of the Choose to Live Better Festival is to both inform and encourage people start to take those positive steps in making lifestyle changes for themselves and their families and to recognise that small changes, which are easier to manage, can make a big difference to our long term health.

Sixty per cent of adults in NI are classed as either overweight or obese according to the 15/16 NI Health & Social Wellbeing Survey. According to the same survey, 25% children aged 2-16 are overweight or obese in NI.

Through this fortnight the Northern Obesity Partnership is supporting a range of events and activities to promote physical activity, nutrition and breastfeeding, including:

NHSCT Maternity Services – Baby vests promoting breastfeeding with the slogan “mmm...my mummy’s milk” will be provided to all babies born to breastfeeding mothers during this fortnight. The vests will also be provided to new mums at the local breastfeeding support groups and mums to be attending Parentcraft Breastfeeding Sessions. For more information contact: Sinead Lynch; Sinead.lynch@northerntrust.hscni.net or telephone 028 9083 1408

In Mid & East Antrim Borough Council - three projects will run across the council area. Three fitness classes (Ballymena, Carrickfergus & Larne), for pre and post natal women, where women will take part in light exercise, be given information leaflets on living a healthy lifestyle and have an opportunity to share their experiences with each other. The sessions will also provide opportunity to signpost the participants towards other local classes and activities which will help promote living a healthy lifestyle. The second project will be a children and young people taster fitness class. Two classes will run across Ballymena, Larne and Carrickfergus (8-12 year olds class and 13-16 year olds class). In total the six classes will be run across Mid and East Antrim. The third project will target adults with disabilities. The BASE Groups in Ballymena, Carrickfergus and Larne will attend taster physical activity sessions and get advice on how to live a healthier lifestyle. For more information contact: Colin Roden; Colin.roden@midandeastantrim.gov.uk or telephone 028 2826 2401

The Northern Obesity Partnership is a multi-sector and multi-disciplinary group responsible for the local delivery of the regional strategy: Fitter Futures for All - Preventing and Addressing Overweight and Obesity in Northern Ireland 2012 -2022. More information on making small changes with positive impacts can be found at:

www.northernhealthtrust.hscni.net

www.safefood.eu/Start/Welcome.aspx

www.choosetolivebetter.com