A WEEK of action aimed at changing Swindonians’ diet habits and tackling the surge in obesity has been launched today.

Swindon’s Healthy Weight Awareness Week kicked off at Penhill Library this morning and will run until Saturday.

To promote better living choices, the council’s health improvement team will meet communities over the next few days to share advice and highlight how lifestyle changes can help manage their weight.

The week of action coincides with National Obesity Awareness Week and the Let’s Turn Obesity Around campaign.

Members of the public are invited to find out more about local lifestyle courses and weight management programmes for all ages, such as Dietbusters at Pinetrees Community Centre, in Pinehurst, on Thursday between 11.30am and 2pm and on Saturday at Asda Walmart, Orbital Retail Park, between 11am and 3pm.

Fiona Dickens, the public health programme manager at Swindon Council said: “We’re aiming to raise awareness of some of the simple lifestyle changes people can make to help them manage their weight and be healthier this year.

“These don’t need to be big or expensive changes – swapping some everyday foods or taking up more exercise, for instance.

“We’ll also have information for people of all ages and abilities about opportunities to join local healthy lifestyle programmes or take up a new leisure activity.”

As part of Healthy Weight Awareness Week, people are being encouraged to sign up to the January Change4life Smart Swaps programme to make one or more easy diet swaps every day for a month and shave off saturated fat, sugar and calories from their diet.

Coun Brian Mattock, the cabinet member for health and adult social care, said: “We know that obesity is as much of a problem in Swindon as it is in other parts of the country, with an estimated one in four adults being obese.

“There is no quick fix. However, people who successfully lose weight and keep it off have a number of things in common.

“They make changes to improve their diet and increase activity that they can keep up, rather than going on short-term diets.

“I would recommend that people sign up to the Change4Life Smart Swaps campaign or go along to the events to find out more about ways to get started.”

There will be healthy food tasting and stalls at each event with information on gentle, low-cost activities like walking, cycling and swimming to help get people more active.

For more information about the Healthy Weight Awareness Week call 01793 465413 or go to www.leisureinswindon.co.uk.