It’s the statistics we’ve seen time and time again – 60 per cent of western Sydney residents are overweight, and almost half of those are obese.
We also know that if this percentage of our population were to lose just five per cent of their weight, it could decrease their chance of developing diabetes by 40 to 60 per cent.
But when will we actually take action on bad eating habits and lack of exercise?
Well just like State Member for Mulgoa Tanya Davies and her office staff, there’s no better time to start than Healthy Weight Week from February 15 to 21.
“We need to encourage people to make small changes to lifestyle habits which can make an enormous difference to overall health,” Mrs Davies said.
Mrs Davies and her office have a combined weight of 400.1 kilograms, and will be using all the Healthy Weight Week resources available to change their eating and exercise habits.
“Residents can get involved by undertaking the cooking pledge during the seven days of Healthy Weight Week,” she said.
“For cooking inspiration and tips, a free cookbook is available with recipes for everyone, including rocket salad and tahini yoghurt, Cajun chicken burgers and pumpkin and pesto pasta.”
Mrs Davies hopes the community will get on board with Healthy Weight Week, especially families where children suffer from obesity.
“The NSW Government recognises how important good nutrition is to wellbeing,” she said.
“It’s why reducing incidence of childhood obesity is one of the Premier’s 12 priorities.”
Tackling obesity at a young age will lead to better health outcomes in the long term by decreasing the likelihood of children carrying weight into adulthood and risking chronic disease later in life.
Ran by the Dieticians Association of Australia, Healthy Weight Week will encourage smaller portion sizes, which will in turn reduce kilojoule intake and manage weight.
DAA Spokesperson Professor Clare Collins said a good place to start is by making your own smaller meals when at home.
To kick start your healthy weight, visit www.healthyweightweek.com.au.