Thousands of people participating in a Newcastle-based campaign to tackle obesity have succeeded in shedding an incredible total of 100,000 pounds.
Newcastle Can, launched in January 2017, encouraged people to come together to lose weight and get healthier through community activities.
Newcastle Can set the city’s residents the challenge of losing 100,000 lbs in 12 months. While the target wasn’t quite met by that deadline, the project confirmed last week that its participants had now reached their goal.
Due to the success of the project, Newcastle City Council have decided to keep running Newcastle Can and have added it to their overall weight loss strategy.
The city’s residents are encouraged to keep signing up for the programme and logging their weight loss online.
The most recent figures show that 63.2% of Newcastle’s adults are thought to be overweight or obese, a slightly higher figure than the national average. 38.4% of Year Six children in the city are classified as being obese or overweight.
Newcastle Can featured in the BBC documentary Britain’s Fat Fight with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
In the documentary, the celebrity chef challenged Nestle and Kelloggs to alter how their cereals are packaged and convinced some of Britain’s largest restaurant chains to come up with healthier kids’ menus.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall said, “Well done Newcastle Can! Reaching 100,000 lbs lost in weight is a brilliant achievement.”
“Congratulations and a huge thank you to everyone who has participated and to all the brilliant organisations across the city who have supported us along the way.”
“We may have reached our target, but this isn’t the end! Now is a fantastic time to get involved in Newcastle Can and join thousands of others across the city in coming together to eat better and get fitter.”
Presently, 12,300 individuals who live or work in Newcastle are taking part in Newcastle Can.
Newcastle City Council has cooperated with KEO Films, Active Newcastle and Food Newcastle to encourage people to sign up to the Newcastle Can programme and make the small changes to their lives that will help them lose weight.
Newcastle Can worked alongside some of Newcastle’s largest employers – such as Nexus, HMRC and Your Homes Newcastle – to encourage employees to contribute to overall workplace weight loss totals.
Newcastle City Council’s cabinet member for culture, sport and public health, Cllr Kim McGuinness, said, “Well done to everyone who has been part of the Newcastle Can project. Losing 100,000 lbs is an amazing achievement!”
“I would like to thank all the staff from the council who have helped drive this forward and everyone across the city who has stepped up to take this challenge.”
“We are passionate about making Newcastle a city with health at its heart and I am pleased that the Newcastle Can campaign is now part of our overall adult obesity strategy.”
“Once again, a huge well done – let’s keep moving, losing weight and adding to our total.”
Other Newcastle initiatives for encouraging better health include limiting the numbers of takeaways on routes to schools and the recently launched Play Streets programme which aims to create healthier neighbourhoods.
Another recent project, the Newcastle Good Food Plan, aims to develop an inclusive food culture across the city, reduce food waste and make sure everybody can get access to nutritious food.