Project helped ‘turn the tide’ on obesity

Members of the Hearty Lives Carrickfergus group at last year's Food and Folk Fest in Whitehead. INCT 30-024-PSB

Members of the Hearty Lives Carrickfergus group at last year's Food and Folk Fest in Whitehead. INCT 30-024-PSB

A special event later this month will mark the conclusion of the innovative Hearty Lives Carrickfergus project.

Taking place on June 21 at Belfast Loughshore Hotel, the event and will highlight the successes of the project to date.

“The British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) Hearty Lives programme has been funding a local project called Hearty Lives Carrickfergus over the last three years,” said Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Billy Ashe.

“The lessons learned and resources developed through the course of the project are to be discussed at a major conference entitled ‘Turning the Tide On Obesity - Facts, Evidence, Interventions, Resources’,” he said, adding that the programme has been supported by staff from Mid and East Antrim Council, working in partnership with the Northern Health and Social Care Trust and the Public Health Agency.

“The aim of the project was to develop programmes to tackle obesity in young women and to help women achieve and maintain a healthy weight before, during and after pregnancy. It also worked to co-ordinate and develop programmes for families with young children to prevent obesity and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease,” added Cllr Ashe.

Through the project, BHF Northern Ireland invested over £230,000 in the Carrickfergus, Whitehead and Greenisland communities over the last three years.

“This investment is supporting the development of new and effective ways of working to highlight the impact of obesity for women and their families,” said BHF Northern Ireland’s Jayne Murray.

“To date, over 6,000 local people have benefitted directly and indirectly from the work of Hearty Lives Carrickfergus. The project has consulted with and listened to the needs of families with babies and toddlers and aimed to fill in some of the gaps.

“As a result, many innovative interventions have been developed by the project team.”