Tackling obesity the “Whole Systems” way

leeds town hallLeeds Town Hall - venue for Whole Systems event

A three-year programme funded by Public Health England will take place on Tuesday the 18th of October at Leeds Town hall, attempting to tackle the obesity epidemic in the UK. Called Whole Systems, the event is backed by Leeds Beckett University.

leeds town hall obesity event

Leeds Town Hall – venue for Whole Systems event

Leeds Hacks spoke to people who have struggled with obesity ahead of the event in order to share insight about the reality of being overweight.

Liam Smith opened up about becoming too comfortable in his relationship and being in denial about the changes that were happening to his body.

Liam smith obesity

Liam Smith, before and after weight loss

The 25 year old warehouse operative was a previous theatre and performance student at the University of Hull.

“I gave up sport and exercise in order to get a weekend job and be able to fund the relationship.”

“I was in denial until I went shopping with friends and realised I couldn’t buy the same clothing as it wasn’t available in XXL.”

Liam went from being 19st, 4.5lbs to 13st, 9lbs. He is looking forward to what suggestions will be made at the event.

“I don’t see how it shouldn’t be a positive thing, even though different things work for different people. However, if it is about tackling the problem of obesity and preventing it, it can only be a good thing.”

“Lazy and complacent”

Mitch Poole, a 21 year old stock controller also struggled with losing weight due to the new abundance of takeaways.

mitch poole obesity

Mitch Poole, before weight loss

“Working long hours made me become lazy and complacent, and I would resort to eating out or ordering a takeaway because it was easier than coming home tired and cooking a meal.”

From 22st, 3lbs, to 18st, 7lbs he admitted that there was still “work to be done”, but he is eager for the Whole Systems event to “promote change and healthier lifestyles.”

mitch poole obesity

Mitch Poole, after weight loss

The Whole Systems approach

The NHS website defines obesity “for most adults as having a Body Mass Index of 30 to 39.9.””.

The Whole Systems approach uses the causes outlined by the Foresight programme – the effects of a “radically altered society” – and aims to tailor them to the needs of individual Local Authorities.

The academics at Leeds Beckett have also been working closely with Local Authorities ahead of the event “collaboratively to overcome challenges”.

If successful, the scheme can “improve quality of life, save money, and create sustained prosperity for local areas”, as reported by Leeds Beckett news.

According to the Whole Systems website, success depends on “identifying the most crucial components and having a strong understanding of what is needed.”

To register for the event, click here.

By Fatima Banglawala

About the Author

student
This article was produced by a student or students on the BA in Journalism at Leeds Beckett University.

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