As the new year gets underway, there’s never been a better time to make a sustainable improvement to your diet

This January, from the 8th to the 14th, UK adults are encouraged to tackle obesity head on and improve their overall health for good. That’s because it’s National Obesity Awareness Week 2018.

Whether it’s by cooking healthier meals, avoiding snacking throughout the day, or making the effort to be a little more physically active, this is your chance to get healthy and stay healthy. If your New Year’s resolution was to lose weight and get healthy, this is the perfect opportunity to really get started.

Why is National Obesity Awareness Week so important?

Simply put, obesity awareness is important because obesity and weight problems are a growing problem in the UK. Britain is the most obese country in Europe, and rates have been steadily climbing for several years. In 2014, 62% of UK adults were classed as obese, compared to 53% 20 years earlier.

Nowadays, more than two thirds of men and almost 6 in 10 women are overweight or obese in the UK. Raising awareness of the dangers of weight issues can help us as a society to get to grips with this epidemic and begin to reverse the trend.

A large part of this is understanding the difference between short term weight loss solutions and long term lifestyle changes. Extreme diets may offer weight loss benefits in the short term, but making permanent changes to your lifestyle through diet and physical activity are the only way to ensure the long term health benefits associated with weight loss. Part of this comes from better understanding the food we eat and how the body handles them.

Take a second glance at your food shop this National Obesity Awareness Week

We all know about the negative effects of excessive consumption when it comes to food items like sugars. But when it comes to our weekly food shop most of us aren’t fully aware of the contents of regular food items like cereals and so-called “diet” options. For example, yoghurt is often marketed as a health food, and in cases of natural yoghurt products can be extremely good for you. However, some yoghurt brands, including ones aimed at children and “low-fat” options often contain large amounts of added sugar.

Cereal bars are often marketed as a healthy alternative to chocolates and sweets. And while there may be more nutritional value to these items it is important that you read the ingredients carefully and are not simply drawn in by fancy packaging. Many cereal bars contain corn syrup, sugar cane fibre and fructose among others, transforming your seemingly healthy snack into a particularly unhealthy option.

Examples such as these reflect the importance of obesity awareness, as it’s vital that we understand the ingredients in the foods we’re consuming so we know what to look out for, and what to avoid. That’s why taking part in National Obesity Awareness Week can not only benefit your own health, but increase awareness for others too.

Understanding how to choose the very best items for your shopping basket is a good start to developing a healthier diet. It is important to prepare your own food and drinks where possible to ensure you know precisely what you are ingesting each time you sit down to a meal.

If you are looking to make changes to your lifestyle that you can maintain for longer than 6 weeks, consulting your GP or pharmacist is a great starting point. For those who are struggling to achieve changes in their weight through diet and exercise, Express Pharmacy offers two proven medications, Xenical and Mysimba, which can help individuals to improve their health in conjunction with other lifestyle changes.

Contact the team at Express Pharmacy today by calling 0208 123 07 03 or by using our discreet live chat service.