As we move into the party season and the run-up to Christmas, this is possibly not the best time to raise the subject of Healthy Living. But growing numbers of consumers in the UK are taking it very seriously all year round. And as the end of another year approaches, large numbers of others are thinking about doing something about it in January.

Healthy living is an attitude of mind. The best thing about it is, it’s never too late in life for consumers to change their habits and by establishing a healthy lifestyle now, continue to reap the rewards in the future. As the articles in this feature indicate, there are a host of products available in UK grocery outlets to help consumers live healthier lives – if they want to.

The majority of New Year’s resolutions made by Brits are some sort of vow to have a healthier year. After losing weight, the second most popular resolution is the pledge to get fit. Third is to eat more healthily. The will is there, even if many of us fail…

So just how unhealthy are we? Based on the state of our bodies, we definitely deserve the name ‘Great’ Britain. According to the NHS Information Centre’s 2011 report, in 2009 nearly a quarter of adults in England classified as obese (BMI 30kg/m2 or over.) 44% of men and 33% of women weighed in as overweight (BMI 25 to less than 30kg/m2.)

And it’s got worse over the years. Thirty-eight per cent of adults had a raised waist circumference in 2009 compared to 23% in 1993. And children have been getting fatter too. In 2009, 16% of boys aged 2-15 and 15% of girls were classed as obese, up from 11% and 12% in 1995. The prevalence of overweight children aged 2-15 has stayed largely unchanged.

And what about exercise? In 2009, 41% of respondents said they took walks of 20 minutes or more at least three times a week, and a further 22% said they did so at least once or twice a week. However 20% of respondents took walks of at least 20 minutes “less than once a year, or never.” The Chief Medical Officer of England recommends that adults should achieve at least 30 minutes a day of “at least moderate intensity physical activity” on five or more days of the week. So now you know.

You can’t force people to live healthily, but as a retailer you can at least give them the choice. As we move into the party season and the run-up to Christmas, keep those healthy products highly visible in store, and prick those shoppers’ consciences to buy them!

The Grocery Trader

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