Helping hand to fight obesity ‘a priority’

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Health chiefs in St Helens are highlighting the range of services available to help residents combat levels of obesity in the borough.

Recent figures show one in four adults in the borough are obese and one in three overweight.

While these figures are in line with the national picture, health chiefs remain eager to promote the benefits of eating healthily and taking more regular exercise.

St Helens’ director of public, Liz Gaulton, said: “Busy lifestyles and 21st century environment often make it hard to make healthy choices and it is important that we help to make the healthy choice easy.

“The Change4Life food swaps are a great easy way to take a first step.”

St Helens has become more cycle friendly in recent years, with cycling greenways, such as Rainford Linear Park, provision of cycle training, cycle hubs (Bold Miners) and improved cycle parking.

Deputy council leader Gareth Cross said: “Even changing small things about what we eat and how active we are will make us feel better and have an impact on our health and wellbeing.

“Reducing snacks and food and drink high in sugar will help, as will being generally more active perhaps walking for short journeys rather than taking the bus or driving, and using the stairs rather than a lift.

“We have seen successes in reducing the number of hot food takeaways in St Helens in the last couple of years with planning guidance. And fewer five-year-old children are overweight compared with six years ago.”

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