New pharmacy campaign promotes healthier choices

New pharmacy campaign promotes healthier choices

A new campaign that encourages adults to make healthy changes to their diet has been launched in community pharmacies across Northern Ireland as part of the Living Well service.

‘Making healthier choices’ will run until the end of March and aims to encourage people to make changes to their diet that will have a positive impact on overall health and wellbeing.

Living Well is offered in over 500 pharmacies and provides information and advice on public health issues. It is delivered in partnership with the Public Health Agency (PHA), Community Pharmacy NI (CPNI), and the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB).

LW MHC press release

Dr Hannah Dearie, Senior Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Officer with PHA said that the new pharmacy campaign is an extension of the PHA’s wider Choose to Live Better campaign work:

“We want to encourage people to make simple changes to their diet that will help to have a positive impact on their health. Providing information through community pharmacies is a great way of reaching people.

“This campaign aims to make people think about portion sizes of food and drinks they are consuming and reduce portions sizes to improve health and wellbeing. It’s still the food you love, just a bit less.”

Combining healthy eating habits with being active can reduce your risk of developing a range of chronic conditions such as heart disease, some cancers and type 2 diabetes.

Paul McKenna, community pharmacist said:

“Community pharmacies are at the heart of our local communities with the public recognising pharmacists as trusted and accessible healthcare professionals. This makes community pharmacy the ideal setting to help encourage people to look after their health by engaging in initiatives such as the ‘Making healthier choices’ campaign.

“We can help support you to make those lifestyle changes. The first step is simple, just ask your pharmacist for advice.”

Simple tips for making healthier choices:

  • Eat regularly – eat three meals each day, ie. breakfast, lunch and evening meal. This can help you stay fuller for longer and prevent you nibbling on snacks in-between meals.
  • Eat slowly, to give your body a chance to tell you it’s satisfied. It takes 20 minutes for your brain to register that you’re full.
  • Eat until you’re no longer hungry, not until you feel full.
  • Use a smaller plate.
  • Don’t nibble on leftovers – you can cut down on leftovers by cooking less or using them up in another meal.
  • Check food labels – If you’re not sure how much of a food to eat in one serving, have a look at the food label, which appears on packaged food and drink.
  • Watch out for supersized portions when you’re eating out. Come up with ways to deal with bigger portions, eg. opt for a starter portion, leave out the chips, don’t force yourself to clear your plate, share a dessert between two or three people.
  • Try to be more active every day– remember, if you slip up one day, don’t dwell on it. Just carry on to the next day with your target in mind.

The Making healthier choices booklet is packed with lots of helpful information and is available in participating pharmacies now.

Further information on healthier portions and portion swaps can be found at:  

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