Belfast Telegraph

Fat result of Christmas indulgence

Nearly a quarter of people over-indulged during the Christmas holidays, eating double what they normally would, new research has revealed.

Some 24% ate twice their usual amount, treating themselves to bigger portions, chocolate and sweets, and 25% will have gained around 3lb as a result of the festive gorging.

Aviva Health Insurance, which published the survey, has urged the nation to kick-start a fitness plan for the new year to battle the bulge.

Dr Stephen Murphy, a GP on the organisation's Medical Council, said people need to change their behaviour towards food and exercise to improve their health.

"Every year, I see my patients resolve to get back into shape in the new year, however, being proactive about your health is much more than losing weight in the short term," said Dr Murphy.

"Even just 30 minutes of exercise three times a week can have a huge impact on your energy and stress levels, sleeping patterns, and risk of conditions such as diabetes and heart disease."

The research found that 45% of people did no exercise over the holidays, with the majority of those respondents admitting they were either too lazy, the weather was too bad, or they deserved a rest since it was Christmas.

Over four out of five (83%) said they expected to gain weight as a result of this lack of motivation.

In addition to the 25% of people gaining around 3lb, a further 23% are likely to have gained 2lb, which Aviva has described as concerning considering obesity figures are gradually on the rise in Ireland. People also used the holidays as an excuse to treat themselves to more alcohol than usual.

More than a quarter of those surveyed (27%) said they consumed 10 more units of alcohol in one week over the holidays compared with what they would drink in a normal week. That equates to around an extra three and half glasses of wine or about three extra pints of lager a week.

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