Northern Obesity Partnership; Choose to Live Better Festival 8th – 20th January 2018

8 January 2018

The Northern Obesity Partnership is supporting a number of events and activities across the Northern Trust Area during this January fortnight, 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.

60% 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; or telephone 028 9083 1408

Networks Involving Communities In Health Improvement – Three interactive events covering healthy eating, nutrition and physical activity will run across the Northern Trust Area facilitated by Networks Involving Communities in Health Improvement (NICHI) officers. Each event will focus on three main elements: healthy eating, nutrition and physical activity therefore targeting a wide age range. The events will consist of a healthy eating demonstration, healthy recipes, health and well-being information and an element of physical activity. For more information contact: Pamela Davis; or telephone 028 9447 8645

Mid Ulster District Council – Will host a health and physical activity fair in a central location to Mid Ulster citizens. This will provide an opportunity for members of the public and local workplaces to avail of the following; free health checks, taster physical activity classes and receive information on the services of a range of health and community organisations. There will also be the opportunity to find out more about how Mid Ulster Council can support its residents in making health lifestyle changes. For more information contact: Eunan Murray; or telephone 03000 132 132

Mid & East Antrim Borough Council – 3 projects will run across the council area. 3 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 6 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; or telephone 028 2826 2401

NHSCT Supporting Breastfeeding Staff to Return to Work – A pilot will be initiated in January 2018 to support staff returning to work from maternity leave, who are continuing to breastfeed. Working with the Human Resources departments, Breastfeeding Coordinator and Health & Wellbeing team, breastfeeding mothers will be provided with a cool bag to support them to express and store milk during working hours. For more information contact: Sinead Lynch; or telephone 028 9083 1408

NHSCT Staff Health & Wellbeing – NHSCT will be offered a free Smoothie Making for Breakfast and Lunch workshop to help boost fruit and veg intake. For more information contact: Geraldine Quinn; or telephone 028 2563 5575

NHSCT School Nurse Service – Activity tracker Watches will be provided to 500 Year 8 pupils across the NHSCT area with an emphasis on the promotion of physical activity, at the planned Healthy Child Healthy Future Health Appraisals during January 2018. For more information contact: Clare McKeown; or telephone 028 9083 1489

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:



8th January 2018

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