Over 200 local health and social care staff have together shed almost a literal tonne of weight after taking part in a three months challenge.
The workers, from all areas of the Western Health and Social Care Trust, recently completed the ‘Choose to Lose’ 12 weeks work-based weight loss and healthy lifestyle programme.
And after the results were compiled the Trust bosses revealed yesterday that collectively they have almost 111 stone (704 kgs) and 10 metres from their waist lines – that’s the height of two giraffes!
The Trust staff were leading by example as Western Trust chief experts warned that generally, obesity remains one of the most important public health challenges facing Northern Ireland today.
The latest NI Health Survey (2017/18) reports that 64 per cent of adults are now overweight or obese; a figure that continues to rise.
It is well documented that carrying excess body weight not only increases the risk of developing high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and some cancers, but also impacts negatively on our mental health, wellbeing and self-esteem.
Zoe Fletcher, Western Trust Project Lead Dietitian with the Community Food and Nutrition Team said: “Most staff members spend approximately half of their waking hours at work; therefore the workplace provides an ideal opportunity for educational and behavioural change, encouraging staff to look at their diet and health whilst being inspired and empowered by a network of friends and colleagues.”
Zoe added: “Positively, all staff that participated in the programme intend to continue the diet and lifestyle changes they made and all would recommend to their colleagues.
“Congratulations and well done to all who took part!”
Following the positive feedback from the initiative, ‘Choose To Lose’ for Trust staff will run again later this year.
Many of the participants got together at Altnagelvin Hospital to celebrate their collective success.
Overall winners in the Choose to Lose programme who lost the most weight were the ‘Waist Removal Team,’ ICT Department at Altnagelvin Hospital.
Second place went to ‘SLIMS’ Specialist Nurses at Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex.
Third place went to another Derry outfit, ‘The Rockits’ from Slievemore Recovery Unit at Gransha Park.