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11/12/2015

The big threat – obesity

Today has seen headlines describing obesity in women as dangerous as a terror threat. That’s quite a claim. But the sources are reliable! England’s chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, has given her annual report suggesting that tackling obesity should be a national priority. And it’s no wonder when you see stats from England, 2013.

64% of women aged 34–44 and 71% of women aged 45–54 were classified as overweight or obese.

Discussion focuses on empowering women to lead healthier and more active lives, better treatment for ovarian cancer and encourage discussion on issues like incontinence and menopause. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Recently, we’ve seen the fabulous ‘This Girl Can’ campaign by Sport England, aiming to empower women in sport. It’s brilliant, no doubt about it! But what about all stages of a woman’s life course? Pregnancy for example. If a woman is obese during pregnancy, research suggests an increased risk of miscarriage and premature birth, and an impact on the child’s health later in life.

Sports England This Girl Can

Promoting behaviour change is now more important than ever. With a positive voice, we need to trigger thought processes about adopting healthier lifestyles, and continue to provide support so behaviour change can be maintained. We know this change isn’t as easy as flicking a switch, so it’s important to encourage and let people know the support is always there. And it doesn’t have to be about big changes too! You don’t need to join a gym or a sports club, it could be about a 30 minute walk to the shops or around the park. 30 minutes, five times a week, could make all the difference. It’s about the little steps.

So, you may not know, I am passionate about promoting these changes. Through my career as a designer, I have worked on many social marketing campaigns, and one was for Haringey Health Trainer Service and Haringey Council. It raised awareness of a new weight management programme for men and the programme aimed to help participants to get active and do the things they enjoy without the need for special diets. The artwork I produced addressed an audience who may realise they’re having to loosen their belt for example or having to buy bigger clothes. The illustrations I created have a quirky and light-hearted approach as to not put people off addressing weight issues which they may be embarrassed about.

I would love to work on more healthy lifestyle campaigns! And here at GRIN we are all passionate about what we do. We are already working with local councils to help bring about these changes, but it’s only the beginning…

If you are interested in delivering a healthy lifestyles campaign, or any that seek to bring about behaviour change, I’d love to hear from you. Call us and feel free to have a look around our website.

Merry Christmas!