Nutrition and Exercise

Tackling obesity - a balanced approach

Obesity is one of the major health risks of our times. It is well documented that being obese can make individuals more susceptible to a wide range of health issues, including coronary and circulatory diseases, certain cancers and diabetes. According to the World Health Organisation, the prevalence of obesity has tripled in many European countries since the 1980s and continues to rise in industrialised nations and emerging economies.

In response, countries and health organisations have conducted extensive research into the condition, identifying a plethora of causes for obesity, which scientists now describe as a 'multifactorial phenomenon'. There is widespread agreement that being overweight is not just a direct result of eating certain foods – other factors impacting obesity include chronic stress at work; frequent sleep deprivation; psychological problems; and the modern sedentary lifestyle.

The key to tackling Europe's obesity epidemic is to encourage citizens to become more active. This can obviously be achieved through regular vigorous exercise. However, small lifestyle changes can also make a big difference, such as taking the stairs instead of the lift; walking to the local shops instead of driving; going out for a walk at lunchtime; or just getting outdoors to play with the kids. Besides leading an active lifestyle the emphasis should be on achieving a balanced diet in which all foods can be enjoyed in moderation,including savoury snacks such as potato chips.

We take social responsibility very seriously and have improved many products, increased the choice for healthier products and undertaken several activities to help to combat obesity. One of these activities that demonstrates our engagement is the successful 'On The Ball' school project.

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