Diet swap shop bid to boost health in Leeds

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Families are being encouraged to make health diet swaps in a bid to boost health.

Health chiefs in Leeds are supporting Smart Swaps – a national campaign to help people cut sugar and saturated fats from their snacks, drinks and meals.

Change4Life is calling on families across the city to make easy, simple changes with a smart swapathon.

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, chairman of the Leeds Health and Wellbeing board, said: “January always makes us want to eat healthily and Change4Life’s Smart Swaps campaign makes it easy to make a change to our lifestyles and feel better for it. Leeds has been making some real progress on health and wellbeing.

“We’re determined to do more to reduce the life expectancy gap between communities. But we know that we face a challenge in coming years as we deal with the impact of financial constraints.

“As well as Smart Swaps, our teams are offering help with stopping smoking, sexual health issues, cancer, obesity and alcohol, along with a wide range of other issues.

“We know that investing in health protection and prevention will save lives and save money, and we are committed to helping people live healthier, longer lives.”

Families, organisations and schools are being encouraged to:

* Swap fizzy drinks for sugar free juice, milk or water;

* Swap no breakfast for a health breakfast;

* Swap to school meals;

Swap takeaways and ready meals to cooking from scratch;

* Find new ways to become active.

Emma Strachan, Leeds City Council public health team’s health improvement specialist, added: “In Leeds we are running a local ‘smart swapathon’ to coincide with the national campaign which will run from Monday, January 13, until Friday January 24.”

Organisations and groups are also being urged to sign up to the totalizer challenge which uses a counter system to measure the swaps made.

Once registered organisations will be sent a totalizer and for every swap people pledge to make a counter can be added to the totalizer.

The New Year will see campaigns targeting a range of public health issues, including obesity, alcohol abuse and tobacco harm, as well as communicable diseases and air pollution.

For more information visit:

Prof Derek Steele.

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