Powys Teaching Health Board is encouraging people with a body mass index (BMI) of over 25 to sign up for an online weight management programme.
Foodwise for Life – led by dietetic support workers – is a nine-week programme and is part of the Welsh Government’s All Wales Obesity Pathway.
Nicola Evans, 51, from Builth Wells started the course in February after she was diagnosed as diabetic:
“My dietitian recommended it and it has been the best thing ever. I thought I knew nutrition but it has taught me so much. In diets, you often hear about sins or cheats but Foodwise for Life just focusses on sensible eating and everything is ok if it’s in proportion.
“I’ve also started doing the NHS Couch to 5K three times a week and I’ve lost more than two stone since I started the Foodwise programme.”
Her weight loss has had a huge health impact:
“At my last blood test, I had dropped 10 sugar level points. I’m back to my pre-diabetic level and my blood pressure has dropped as well. My goal now is to reverse the diabetes. I want to lose two stone and get back into a size 14.
“Foodwise for Life allows you to discuss things with others in the same situation. They know what you are going through and even now the programme has finished, we still keep in touch with each other. I also attend the drop-in group every week if I can. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is struggling with their weight. I’ve really loved it and I’m now interested in helping others.”
Karen Wilson, Public Health Dietitian at Powys Teaching Board, explained:
“By focussing on the behavioural element behind people’s habits, we can support people to make sustainable changes for long term health benefits without feeling deprived which is often what leads to the all or nothing approach to weight loss.
“The programme runs for nine weeks but we offer continued support long after the sessions finish.”
The Welsh Government’s Help Us Help You campaign is shining a light on how we can lead a healthier lifestyle. By making a number of lifestyle choices such as eating well, being active and protecting our mental wellbeing, we are more likely to live longer and less likely to develop serious illnesses and health conditions.
Adults in Powys with a BMI over 25 can self-refer to join the Foodwise for Life programme in Powys. It runs online and you can access digital technology support if required.
If you would like to learn more about losing weight healthily, becoming more active, changing eating habits and overcoming barriers, please visit: www.pthb.nhs.wales/find/foodwise