Leading obesity experts across the UK are offering their top tips for a healthy weight ahead of National Obesity Awareness Week (NOAW).
Health experts from the UK Association for the Study of Obesity (ASO) will offer their advice on issues such as healthy eating, physical activity, eating behaviours and long term impacts on health, to support NOAW, which this year runs from 12-18 January.
The theme of this year’s awareness week is to encourage individuals and organisations to pledge healthier goals for the New Year to improve the nation’s overall health and encourage a change in behaviours that do not support a healthy weight.
Pinki Sahota, Professor of Nutrition and Childhood Obesity at Leeds Beckett University and Chair of the ASO urges families to prioritise eating together to build healthy routines. She explained: “Parents should be encouraged to sit with children and eat the same foods thereby modelling the consumption of healthy foods which in turn encourages children to eat the same foods. Research has shown that families who consistently have family mealtimes are less likely to have overweight children.”
ASO Trustee Dr Emma Boyland added: “Exposure to food marketing encourages children to over consume foods that are typically very high in sugar, fat and salt. Try to limit children’s screen time to reduce the impact of these powerful and persuasive commercial messages on their dietary health.”
All tips from ASO will be based on research evidence to support a healthy weight. The UK Association for the Study of Obesity houses the scientists, researchers and practitioners that significantly contribute to the understanding, prevention and treatment of obesity through research, clinical practice, policymaking and public health. Based on the evidence rather than popular fads or fiction, ASO members will add to the social media hashtag #NOAW by providing their ‘top tips’ to success for those wanting to make a healthier start to 2015.
Dr Clare Llewellyn, Lecturer in Behavioural Obesity Research at University College, London, said: “Research has shown that eating too quickly can lead to eating too much. This is because your biology needs time to signal to your brain that you have had enough to eat. Slowing down your eating speed can be one strategy to help prevent overeating. Another strategy is opting for foods that require more chewing and take longer to eat. In addition to paying attention to how quickly food is eaten, research shows the importance of recognising how full you feel when eating. It can be difficult to resist the temptation to carry on eating after you’re full, when food tastes good. Limiting your portion size and putting leftovers in the fridge straight away can help.”