Stop the Spread
You've probably heard the ads by now… you may even have thought about measuring your waist or stepping-up on the scales to check your weight. But the fat truth is that 2 out of every 3 people in Ireland are overweight which means, just maybe you might be one of them! Apparently as a nation we are living in denial about our ever expanding waistlines. And when you read the stats, it's easy to see the massive disparity between the fat facts and what people actually believe to be the truth. Almost 60% of adults believe they don't need to lose weight when clearly they do, so it's time to stop being in denial and start to take serious action to reduce our waist size and increase our quality of life.
Step in Safefood, who have launched a simple yet effective new campaign called "Stop the Spread". With more people in Ireland now over-weight than at a healthy weight range, this campaign is aimed directly at this growing group of people (pardon the pun) and hopes to stop them from tipping the scales into the obese category – a condition which kills 6,000 people a year in Ireland.
It's easy to see how people don’t realize the extent of the problem. Many of us have become complacent, as it's more socially acceptable to have a little jiggle around the middle (if all your friends are overweight mustn't be so bad -right?). But listen-up, if your waist circumference is greater than 32 inches for a woman and 37 inches for a man you are at risk of serious health implications. And that's a fact. Infertility is just one possible risk highlighted by Professor Donal O'Shea at the launch of Stop the Spread, as well as many cancers, diabeties and heart disease.
Prof Donal O’Shea, who runs an obesity clinic at Loughlinstown hospital, Co Dublin, said because we have edged up in weight over the last two decades most people who are overweight think they are just fine because they look “normal”. In fact it's the people who are at a healthy weight who are in the minority. Once people reach his clinic they are in the morbidly obese category and not even a tape measure can go around them at that stage. And at the rate we are expanding as a nation, it won't be long before that applies to many more of us.
Even a weight loss of six to eight pounds for overweight people could make a big difference to their health, he added.
The “Stop the Spread” campaign also addresses what is called the “social contagion effect”, where the chances of being obese are much more likely in a social circle either within a family or a network of friends. Research has shown that a person’s chances of becoming obese increased by 57% if they had a friend who became obese. If one spouse is obese, the likelihood that the other spouse could be obese increases by 37%. It's remarkable too that Unislim members report to us that once they change their lifestyles for the better, that their spouses too lose weight, so this “social contagion effect” can have a positive effect too.
"Stop the Spread" campaign is supported by Unislim and starting from next week we'll have free measuring tapes in classes nation-wide (until stocks last). Your Unislim leader will show you how to measure your waist correctly and more importantly over the weeks ahead with Unislim you'll see a real benefit of losing weight as you watch your waist whittle away to a healthy range.