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New Year's Resolutions

The two most common resolutions made in the new year are to lose weight and to give up smoking.

overweight man checking his weight

Australia is fast becoming one of the fattest countries in the world.

Being overweight or obese can significantly increase the risk of a number of chronic diseases: type 2 diabetes, gall bladder disease, high blood pressure, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, sleep apnoea, heart disease and asthma.  Obesity can also cause loss of self-esteem, social isolation, daytime sleepiness and fatigue, and impact on the risk of developing some cancers and heart disease.

The latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Report showed that fewer than 30% of men and 40% of women were eating the recommended minimum of four serves of vegetables a day.

For most of us we just eat too much anyway.  Over the last 50 years portion sizes have increased two to five-fold; and high fat content processed foods make up a larger part of our diet.

Medicines are available to help with weight reduction; and there are regularly promoted fad diets.  But there is no quick fix.  In its simplest form weight management is about taking in fewer calories and using more.

When it comes to smoking, any time is a good time to quit; and it’s never too late.

However, becoming and staying a non-smoker doesn’t happen by accident. Smokers who plan before they quit are significantly more successful than those who don’t; and planning can be done quickly and easily. The decision to quit must be yours and yours alone, but to help you plan for long term success you should enlist the support of family and friends. Your pharmacist can also offer you valuable support.

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) could be an option worth considering. These nicotine substitutes help to treat the withdrawal symptoms and cravings which can make it so difficult to quit.

The effectiveness of NRT in aiding cessation is well established and is supported by the highest level of clinical evidence.

There are two prescription-only products, taken orally, (bupropion and varenicline) may also be useful for smokers who want to become committed quitters.

If you are interested in trying Hypno-Therapy for quit Smoking, come into Lockyer Valley Pharmacy, and make an enquiry.

Best of luck with your New Year resolutions - you can do it!

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