Cromwell Fitness and Nutrition Coach Amy Neilson

The stats are in — what has two years of Covid, stress, uncertainty and lockdowns done to our waistlines?

It’s not a sexy topic, but while we have all been focused on various flus, have we been ignoring a silent killer than continues to grow?

No pun intended.

Around one in three adults (aged 15 and over) were classified as obese (34.3% in 2021), up from 31.2% in 2019/20.

Obesity rates have increased nearly 4% in a year, according to health.govt.nz

Nearly 5% more of us have entered the category of our weight significantly impacting our health. This means the likelihood of diabetes and a plethora of other diseases (including the big C) as well as mental illnesses increase significantly.

The rate of children who are overweight or obese also continues to increase, with our young girls being worst affected.

Within New Zealand our social economic situation (how well off we are) significantly impacts our likelihood of being affected.

There are tonnes of cultural intricacies but with everyone facing the reality of inflation we are all about to feel a bit of a pinch.

The trick is going to be making sure that’s not around our waist as we battle to squeeze into our jeans.

Veggies are going up in price while the price of global junk food brands remain relatively similar which doesn’t help our cause.

Ways to beat it — both rising costs and obesity

  • Cook more meals at home

So painfully simple but so effective. Not only will you avoid added salt and sugar but you’ll save $60›plus dollars on takeaways or even more eating out. You only have to catch a few minutes of Eat Well For Less on the TV to know that this is a simple trick that can save you thousands of dollars a year. And who knows how many kilos?

  • Make it fun

Especially for kids ‘‘homemade….insert favourite restaurant name here’’ can be a really fun drawcard to get the kids on board. My favourite hack for winter? Konjac pasta — very low in calories and carbohydrates but packed full of fibre.

  • Walk, don’t drive

Walking to a meeting or to get a coffee will not only save you fuel (if you haven’t moaned about the price of fuel yet, well done) you’ll also clock up steps and up your calorie burn for the day — staving off obesity in more ways than I can explain in a short article. If you are complaining about the cost of fuel… take a second to remember that your favourite bottle of fizz is still more expensive per litre.

What do you reckon? Are you feeling the pinch on your wallet or waist or both? And how are you handling it? If you have any questions, drop me a line @amysfitnessansnutrition or 027 2650350