Wellbeing experts at East Lindsey’s leisure centres have challenged local people to discover just how healthy they really are, as shock new figures reveal how being overweight is one of the leading causes of cancer in the UK.
In their bid to support people to live a healthier and greater life for longer, the teams at the four centres run by the Magna Vitae Trust - including in Louth and Mablethorpe - are inviting people to pop in, or call to book, at free ‘body composition test’, which can then be followed up by a three-day free trial.
The move comes after new statistics, released by Cancer Research UK, which reveal how millions are at risk of cancer because of their weight.
The charity released the information in line with a new billboard campaign, which has received some criticism for being ‘fat-shaming’.
Magna Vitae manager Chris Coveley said the whole point of promoting health and fitness was not to ‘shame’ those who may be overweight, but to highlight the real need for people to understand how vital it is to maintain healthy lifestyles.
“A big concern among many is the ‘normalisation’ of obesity, that as a society it is acceptable for people to become overweight without consideration for the possible consequences.
“Obesity is the single biggest cause of Type 2 diabetes and we now hear of these definite links with certain types of cancer, alongside possible increased problems with depression and the negative impact on a person’s joints.
“This is not about shaming, this is about working with people to help them understand the need to be healthy, and that does not mean they have to be a size eight or 10.”
The body composition tests, available at Meridian Leisure Centre, Louth; Horncastle Pool and Fitness Suite, Skegness Pool; and the Fitness Suite and Station Sports Centre in Mablethorpe, measure how much of a person’s body is made up of bone, water, muscle tissue and body fat.
This allows trained Lifestyle Consultants to develop management programmes that increase muscle tissue.
Chris added: “What people sometimes don’t fully understand is that, yes, they can diet and lose weight, but what they are doing is losing water and muscle tissue, which ultimately does not improve their long-term situation.”
One lady in her 60s who is living proof of what a healthier diet and exercise can do, is Louth woman Shirley Burton.
Just over five years ago, Shirley was more than five-stone heavier than she is now.
A regular Magna Vitae centre user, she said: “If I had carried on as I was doing, then I would have been at serious risk of having a stroke.
“I never want to go back, and to remind me to stick to my diet and exercise, I carry a picture of how I used to be.”
• To book your free body composition test or three-day trial, visit your local centre or call Louth: 01507 607650 or Mablethorpe: 01507 472129.