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Health department take on Jersey's weight problem

Health department take on Jersey's weight problem

Wednesday 15 January 2014

Health department take on Jersey's weight problem


One-in-six adults are at "very high risk of cardio-vascular disease" according to the latest figures.

The Health department say more Islanders are obese and overweight than 15 years ago. The department is trying to buck the trend this year with the development of a new food and nutrition strategy; but they say that obesity in Jersey is a growing problem.

The problem isn't as big as in some other European countries, but the Health department's latest figures show that around 16% of adults were obese in 2013 and 32% were overweight.  

Jersey's Acting Senior Public Health Manager Martin Knight said: "Waist size is a good indicator of individuals who are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The 2013 self-reported surveys indicated that over 14,000 individuals (15-16% of the adult population) are at very high risk of cardio-vascular disease because of putting on weight around their middles."

GP’s are the main source of referral into the local Exercise Referral Scheme which helps support people with health conditions to manage their weight. Within this service there is a combined approach to physical activity and food with a referral route into Weight Watchers alongside a 16-week activity programme.

This year the department is tackling the Island's weight problem with the development of a food and nutrition strategy. 

Mr Knight said: "There is benefit in raising health issues and providing information to the public. However, evidence shows that information alone will not change behaviour. A range of evidence based approaches are required. There will be consideration of the evidence of what works in the development of a food and nutrition strategy in 2014.

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