Thursday, June 20, 2024

Inside the obesity capital of Britain

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Tackling obesity is a high priority for public services. Wigan Council has an extensive number of schemes to help people lose weight, including Let’s Get Movin’, a programme of exercise and nutrition classes for families.

NHS Greater Manchester launched a “fakeaways” campaign last December, putting leaflets through people’s doors that looked like takeaway menus. It is also doing a children’s healthy weight consultation.

Nicola Kiggin works as a consultant at Slimming World, running classes at Hindley Independent Methodist Church on the outskirts of Wigan.

Most people who join lose weight within the first week, says Kiggin. One member lost 16lbs in seven days.

“There is no magic potion or pills, it is just normal food, but changing the way we’re cooking and shopping,” says Kiggin.
She takes each person through a food plan, explaining how unhealthy certain everyday foods can be. Many people are not aware of how unhealthy things such as shop-bought sauces can be, for example.

“It’s not anything special that we’re doing, it’s just taking it back to basics.”

In November, Hill stopped eating after dinner and before midday, and started lifting weights: “I just didn’t want to be that person anymore.”

He lost three stone in three months and is now fundraising to run the Greater Manchester Half Marathon for charity.

“I feel like I’ve overcome it and I’m able to keep away from that type of food. It’s not just a diet for me, I’m not going to put the weight back on. I’ve always felt like it was me versus me, and I’ve kind of won.”

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