Nick Smith MP is asking constituents to join him in taking steps to tackle obesity for a new beginning in the New Year.


This week (January 12-18) is National Obesity Awareness Week, with weight issues costing the UK £44.7bn in a year.


The Blaenau Gwent MP will be backing the drive by aiming to walk 10,000 steps a day in 2015, and is hoping others follow suit on the road to a healthier life.


As part of the campaign people are being encouraged to make a healthy New Year’s resolution, which they can log at http://www.noaw.org.uk/get-involved/make-resolution/


Speaking as the campaign kicked off, Mr Smith said it was about finding small ways to make a big difference in our personal lives.


“Being the MP for three valleys, one minute you can be down in Swffryd and the next trekking all the way back up to Tredegar”, he said.


“You get so used to driving everywhere that it becomes a habit that’s hard to break. But instead of finding every excuse to hop in the car, I’m now going to be finding every excuse to walk when I can.


“I’m lucky Blaenau Gwent means we have fantastic scenery and great walks on our doorstep. So I’m hoping instead of making hard to keep resolutions that fizzle in days, people will just think about the little things they can do to stave off this real problem.”


Mr Smith has campaigned in Parliament on public health issues, backing plain packaging on cigarettes and most recently chairing the debate on physical activity in Westminster.


The latest figures have shown that the percentage of obese women amongst the UK population has increased from 16.4 per cent in 1993 to 25.1 per cent in 2012.


The percentage of men considered obese has risen from 13.2 per cent in 1993 to 24.4 per cent in 2012.


The issue is no less prevalent amongst children and young people, and the National Child Measurement Programme found in November 2014 that 33.5 of children aged 10-11 years are considered overweight or obese.


For more information on the campaign, visit www.noaw.org.uk

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