A new life-changing service launches this month that aims to halt the slide into obesity that’s putting Glasgow teens’ futures at risk.
Weigh to Go gives overweight young people aged 16 to 18 the opportunity to get a bespoke weight loss plan and to enjoy physical activity free-of-charge
The move comes after the 2012 Scottish Health Survey showed that 64.3% of Scots aged 16 and over are either overweight or obese.
Being overweight can be caused by increased food availability, larger portions, foods that are high in sugar and fats, lack of sleep, and increased time spent in front of a screen. These can all take their toll on our young people and can increase the chances of them developing serious conditions including heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and cancer.
Scottish Slimmers, Slimming World and Weightwatchers have already signed up to provide the weight loss part of the service.
Participants will also receive free gym membership to Glasgow Life’s Glasgow Club facilities for the duration of the programme.
Funded by British Heart Foundation (BHF) Scotland as part of its Hearty Lives programme*, the service is being managed by Glasgow City Community Health Partnership (part of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde).
Teens will initially be given a 12-week programme of intensive support and will be able to take advantage of 12 weeks’ more support if they can demonstrate they are using the supporting services.
It’s initially being piloted in the north-west of the city at the Youth Health Service in Possilpark and Maryhill, and will also soon be available to young people in the southside and north-east.
Julie Gordon, Health Improvement Lead (Youth) with Glasgow City CHP, said: “We have evidence from a number of surveys that some of our young people are leading increasingly unhealthy lifestyles that, if they continue, will lead to poor health outcomes in later life.
“Weigh to Go aims to help youngsters who are overweight and obese to tackle their weight issues in a supported environment.
“The service is totally free and aims to help them transform their lives and reduce their risk of serious ill health.
“Although the service is currently available in the north-west, if a young person lives in another part of the city, we will still see them at the Possilpark and Maryhill Youth Health Services until Weigh to Go is up-and-running in their area.”
Marjory Burns, Director at BHF Scotland, said: “Poor diet and lack of physical exercise increase our chances of getting Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), which is, sadly, still Scotland’s single biggest killer.
“Through our new Hearty Lives programmes we’re committed to working with these communities to give young people most at risk of CHD a healthier start in life.”
The service is also being offered to youngsters in Inverclyde and is being managed on behalf of Inverclyde Community Health & Care Partnership P by Your Voice - Inverclyde Community Care Forum with a number of Inverclyde Alliance – Community Planning Partners involved in both the design and delivery across the local authority area.
Councillor McIlwee, Convenor of the Health and Social Care Committee of Inverclyde Community Health and Care Partnership, said: “We are delighted to have this new investment to add to our existing efforts, focusing on weight management, obesity and increasing the physical activity levels of our local population.”
So who can apply for Weigh to Go? You need to be:
• Aged 16 to 18-years-of-age
• Have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 25 and over
• Live in Glasgow City or Inverclyde
• Want to lose/manage your weight
This is the latest programme** run by the NHS in Glasgow in an effort to tackle the growing obesity problem amongst our children and young people.
For more information on Weigh to Go in Glasgow, contact the Youth Health Service on 0141 531 8718 or:
Youth Health Service (Possil)
7 Closeburn Street, Possilpark, Glasgow G22 5JZ.
Youth Health Service (Maryhill)
Maryhill Health Centre, 41 Shawpark Street, Glasgow G20 9DR.
For information on Weigh To Go in Inverclyde, contact:
Your Voice, 12 Clyde Street, Greenock PA15 1NB.
Tel: 01475 728628
NOTES TO EDITORS:
People living in some regions of the UK are much more likely to die early from heart disease than those living in other areas. Hearty Lives is the British Heart Foundation’s £12 million UK-wide programme to reduce these geographical inequalities in heart disease.
Working with a range of partners such as local health services, local authorities and other third sector organisations, we are creating innovative new programmes to meet the needs of local communities, as well as to improve these organisations’ capacity to tackle heart disease in the future. These programmes – tailored to those most at risk – will help to prevent people developing heart disease by improving their heart health, or support those already living with heart disease. Find out more about Hearty Lives at bhf.org.uk/heartylives
**The other childhood weight loss programme running in Greater Glasgow & Clyde is called ACES.
ACES – Active Children Eating Smart – offers youngsters aged 5-to-15-years-old and their families support to lose weight and make long-lasting changes to their lifestyle. Contact: 0800 027 0291.
For further media information either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected]