Creating healthy communities is key to Cardiff and Vale residents following pandemic weight gain

With 4 in 10 residents (41%) in Cardiff feeling less healthy now than they did pre-COVID and 29% having put on weight since the start of the pandemic, now is the time to make some small but meaningful changes.

YouGov data shows that, Cardiff residents have put on an average of 4.7kg of weight since the pandemic began.

Beca Lyne-Pirkis, Healthy Weight Cymru ambassador: “It’s not always easy to exercise regularly and eat healthily, and many have found recent lockdowns especially tricky. But even small changes can make a big difference to your health and can make you feel better too.

“There is lots of information and advice on how to take more exercise, eat better and improve your wellbeing on the Living and Feeling Well pages on the NHS 111 Wales website.”

As part of its Help Us Help You campaign, the Welsh Government is keen to highlight that leading a healthier lifestyle means you are more likely to live longer and less likely to develop serious illnesses and health conditions.

The Move More Eat Well Partnership Plan has been developed with Cardiff and Vale Public Services Boards and the Regional Partnership Board (Cardiff and Vale) to encourage and support individuals across the region to lead healthier lives by moving more and eating well.

One element of this plan is to devise healthy communities across Cardiff and Vale through the ethos of establishing healthy habits that are centred around keeping active and making healthier choices.

Facilitating this plan and supporting individuals when accessing fresh and sustainable produce are sustainable food partners, Food Cardiff and Food Vale, who both over the course of the pandemic have been helping individuals to grow together, both in their skills and their use of fresh produce.

Celebrating fresh produce and encouraging individuals to grow and improving access to food, both Food Cardiff and Food Vale have launched community growing schemes. ‘Cardiff Growing Together’ provided growing kids, plants and seeds to families across the city and taught them how to look after, maintain, grow and cook with their own, home-grown produce. Over 75% of those who engaged with the city-wide scheme had never grown their own food before.

“It made me fall in love. To grow, to have the compost, to have the seed. I ate my first tomato that I grew in South Riverside in Cardiff, and it was amazing,” commented one of the community participants of Cardiff Growing Together. To learn more about these projects, watch the video, here.

Food Vale also celebrated community growing projects across the Vale of Glamorgan. Four different schemes, Field Days Organic, Lanlay Community Orchard, Coed Hills Forest Garden and Plant Llantwit all introduced initiatives to involve the community in projects that promote access to fresh food and produce, support wellbeing and help to transform the biodiversity of the local environment.

Project coordinator of Field Days Organic, Alastair Leith, commented: “It’s about being outside, somewhere nice. It’s about being with good people. It’s about feeling you’re making a contribution to the world around you. We’re giving you veg and plants that have the lowest carbon footprint they could possibly have. It’s all grown on site. It’s all organically produced. And we grow very tasty veg and very healthy plants!”

The Move More Eat Well partnership plan is supported by partner organisations across Cardiff and Vale to encourage individuals to make positive lifestyle changes that will support their future. To find out more please visit www.movemoreeatwell.co.uk.

 

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