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Wise up to weight loss

Monday, 24th January, 2011

Hospital dietitian Heidi Drenkhahn Hospital dietitian Heidi Drenkhahn

Overweight locals are being asked to start the year with a resolution that will not only make them feel better but could also add years to their life.

The Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) launches Australia's Healthy Weight Week (AHWW) on Sunday, which focuses on achieving and maintaining a healthier weight by eating better and moving more. 

Local dietitian Heidi Drenkhahn said 61 per cent of Australian adults and one in four children are overweight or obese.

She is encouraging locals to embrace a healthier lifestyle to avoid obesity-related diseases, like heart disease and diabetes, and to be able to live life to the full.

Residents have the chance to gain valuable information about healthy diet and lifestyle at two Australia's Healthy Weight Week events.

On Monday, a Healthy Food Ideas display will be set up in the Broken Hill hospital foyer from 11am to 1pm.

"There will be free food samples to taste along with information and recipes to help you achieve a healthy diet," Ms Drenkhahn said.

On Tuesday, there will be supermarket tours at Woolworths Central Westside from 10am to 2pm (meet at the Telstra hub). Tours start at 10am, 12noon and 2pm and will be run by an accredited practising dietitian.

Ms Drenkhahn said the tour would help "demystify the supermarket aisle and foods labels".

People can call 8080 1397 during office hours to register their interest in attending a tour.

"Australia's Healthy Weight Week is an ideal time to start eating well and commit to a healthier, happier lifestyle," Ms Drenkhahn said.

"If you're carrying too much weight, shedding a few kilograms will make a huge difference to your health - and add years to your life.

"Studies show that dropping 5-10 per cent in body weight can lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and improve glucose tolerance in people with or prone to diabetes."

Ms Drenkhahn said being overweight or obese could trim years off a person's life, with a large international study finding being 'moderately' obese (or having a BMI of between 30 and 35) reduces life expectancy by around three years.

"Cutting back on one daily treat, choosing a smaller dinner plate and getting off the bus one stop earlier can all help shift those excess kilos."

Visit www.healthyweightweek.com.au to find out more about Healthy Weight Week.

Some tips for a healthy weight:

  • Eat breakfast
  • Include vegetables or salad with lunch and dinner
  • Choose fruit as a snack
  • Replace regular-fat food and drinks with reduced-fat alternatives
  • Choose wholegrain foods
  • Eat smaller serving sizes by using smaller plates and cups
  • Eat slowly and stop when satisfied, not stuffed full
  • Eat when genuinely hungry, rather than for emotional or other reasons
  • Swap sweetened drinks such as cordial, soft drink and juice with water
  • Eat evening meals at the dinner table, with the TV turned off
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