A Fylde-based sports group is urging residents to fight the flab and lose weight through a series of new programmes at its centres.
Following National Obesity Week, GPs and health workers in Wyre and Fylde can now refer adults with a body mass index of 25 or over for free weight management support at Fylde Coast YMCA.
The new Y:Weight programme, funded by Lancashire County Council and provided by the YMCA, is specially designed to help adults lose weight and provide them with the advice and guidance to go on and manage their weight for life.
Dr Robert Smyth, of Broadway Medical Centre in Fleetwood, has been referring patients to YMCA’s exercise on referral scheme for the last seven years.
He said: “Obesity is a significant challenge facing the NHS. If we can manage overweight and obesity early, this will help reduce future problems such as diabetes, heart disease and joint problems.
“Y:Weight offers healthcare professionals the opportunity to refer patients at a much earlier stage and before significant problems, caused by gaining weight and being overweight, become established.”
According to the National Obesity Forum, one in four adults are now considered obese.
Obesity is the second most common preventable cause of death, after smoking, and is responsible for more than 9,000 premature deaths in England each year.
Grace Rushton, Y:Weight co-ordinator for Wyre and Fylde said: “This is an exciting opportunity for local adults to join a non-commercial and completely free programme that has been created with long-term health in mind.
“The 12-week programme looks at all aspects of life, and offers a local social support network too, with programmes held in recognised community venues.”
Y:Weight programmes start on Monday in Fleetwood, Cleveleys, Preesall, Freckleton, Kirkham and St Annes.
Adults can also calculate their body mass index number online, using their height and weight, and can also register themselves on the programme at www.yweight.co.uk.
For more information visit www.yweight.co.uk.