Feast to feel good this festive season

Cancer Council Queensland is helping Queenslanders stay healthy in the lead up to the festive season by feasting to feel good, rather than full or fatigued.

The Health of Queenslanders Report 2014* branded Queensland as the heaviest state in Australia – an undesirable claim to fame – but an issue that could be improved through making simple lifestyle changes.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said the festive season was a time many Queenslanders admitted to over-indulging on food, gifts and alcohol.

“Too often, we allow the festive season to disrupt healthy eating and exercise habits we’ve incorporated into our everyday routine,” Ms Clift said.

“Failing to watch our portion sizes leads to overeating, which increases the risk of being overweight or obese.

“Our state has the highest rates of both adult and child obesity nationally, with 65 per cent of adults and 28 per cent of children weighing in as overweight or obese*.

“While the festive season can present itself as a challenge to those trying to maintain or lose weight – with the influx of parties, leftovers and special celebratory recipes – it can be done.

“Be mindful when it comes to eating, prepare for bad influences and think about healthy alternatives.

“It only takes a few small changes to look after the health of yourself, friends and family, and it’s easy to live well once you get into the habit.”

Up to one-third of all cancers are preventable with simple lifestyle changes, including eating healthily, quitting smoking, moving more, maintaining a healthy weight and reducing alcohol intake.

Research shows unhealthy weight gain increases the risk of a range of chronic diseases including some cancers, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

“We’re encouraging all Queenslanders to take charge of their health and wellbeing – watch your portion sizes, swap sweets for fruit, make an effort to integrate more physical activity into your day and be prepared,” Ms Clift said.

“We must find ways of encouraging one another to work towards a healthy weight, limiting sedentary behaviour and boosting health and happiness through physical activity and a healthy diet.

“Simple tactics like not arriving to an event with an empty stomach, preparing for bad influencers and learning to say no can go a long way in ensuring festivity this season.”

Cancer Council Queensland suggests a few festive feasting and fail-safe tips to get Queenslanders kick-started on a healthy countdown to Christmas:

Be a giver of healthy gifts!

  • Healthy cookbooks, exercise equipment, massage vouchers
  • Sports equipment – bikes, skipping ropes, boxing gloves
  • Active experiences – gym memberships, vouchers for kayaking or sailing

Watch that extra Christmas pudding!

  • Have healthy food (vegie sticks, low fat dips, fruit) available among the goodies
  • Avoid over-eating by opting for smaller portion sizes, leftovers are just as good the next day
  • Limit the amount of alcohol consumed – healthy adults should have no more than two standard drinks per day, with alcohol-free days during the week

Crack out the cricket set!

  • Challenge the family to a game of backyard cricket, tennis or soccer
  • Play some water volleyball, and cool down with a swim
  • Stay SunSmart – Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide when outside

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at cancerqld.org.au.

For information and support call Cancer Council’s 13 11 20.

For interviews, please contact:
Katie Clift, Executive Manager, Media and Spokesperson, Cancer Council Queensland
P. (07) 3634 5372 M. 0409 001 171

For more information, please contact:
Kim Ryan, Team Leader, Media, Cancer Council Queensland
P. (07) 3634 5239 M. 0488 015 702

*Fifth report of the Chief Health Officer Queensland, The Health of Queenslanders Report 2014.