It’s CHIP and slim

NOW a chip can be slimming. A free 12-week weight loss programme is being offered to people in Huntingdonshire if they are medically obese. The programme is called CHIP – the community health improvement programme. Veronica Martin, the co-ordinator for th

NOW a chip can be slimming. A free 12-week weight loss programme is being offered to people in Huntingdonshire if they are medically obese.

The programme is called CHIP - the community health improvement programme. Veronica Martin, the co-ordinator for the scheme, which is being run by Huntingdonshire District Council with Cambridgeshire Primary Care Trust, said: "We want people to gain health, not weight, in 2007 in a fun and effective way."

She added: "Small changes to eating and activity habits can reduce or delay the health risks of being obese, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, heart disease and osteoarthritis."

The CHIP programme offers fortnightly workshops that will introduce people to community activity and exercise programmes near where they live. Recommended lifestyle changes include eating more than five pieces of fruit and vegetables a day and taking 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times a week.


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The classes will also provide practical ideas for improving eating habits. Dieticians will run a health and weight quiz and "portion savvy" workshops. People who take part will work together in small teams to gain points, become more active and lose weight.

The programme is modelled on an award-winning lifestyle improvement (LIFE) programme originally provided for patients at the Spinney Surgery in St Ives. This programme won the National Obesity Forum's Primary Care Award for Excellence in 2004. CHIP is being offered to patients in Huntingdon, St Ives, St Neots and Ramsey.

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A person's body mass index (BMI) will indicate if he or she is overweight or obese. If someone has a BMI over 25 this is considered to be overweight and if it is over 30 it is obese. The CHIP programme is for people with BMIs over 30, although if they have a condition such as high blood pressure or diabetes, they will be accepted onto the programme with a lower BMI.

INFORMATION: Speak to a GP or practice nurse for referral. Contact Veronica Martin, health improvement worker, Cambridgeshire Primary Care Trust, 01480 308222. Email: vmartin@nhs.net

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