Health chiefs in Wolverhampton are encouraging people try out some healthier options as part of a new year health kick. This week marks JanUary –a week-long campaign by the National Obesity Forum encouraging people to make small lifestyle changes to improve their health and wellbeing. And health chiefs in Wolverhampton say a quick and easy way is to choose healthier food and drink at mealtimes.

Councillor Sandra Samuels, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "JanUary is all about making small changes – and a very simple one that we can all do is to eat a little more healthily.

"That should start with breakfast. Around a third of people skip breakfast regularly, mainly because they say they don't have time or any appetite. But the old adage is true – breakfast is the most important meal of the day, providing the body with energy to get us started. A healthy breakfast is also a really effective way to support any weight loss resolutions people may have.

"Make having a healthy lunch or dinner, particularly for people at work or juggling childcare, can also be a challenge, making it all too easy for families to fall in to unhealthy habits. However again there are plenty of simple dishes people can rustle up in next to no time.

"The JanUary campaign website has a host of delicious menus for all the family, from blueberry and lemon pancakes or boiled eggs with dukkah soldiers for breakfast to chicken linguine, chickpea burgers or vegetable polenta pizzas for lunch and roast lamb, turkey meatballs or peppered steak for dinner.

“There's something for everyone, including special children's dishes, so I'd urge people to give it a go and try something new today.

“Cooking from scratch is also an excellent way of regulating people’s salt and sugar intake, while for a healthy balanced diet, I'd encourage families to follow the Eatwell Plate, by filling a third of their plate with a colourful variety of vegetables or salad and a third with a starchy carbohydrate like brown rice, quinoa or wholemeal pasta, alongside a portion of fish, meat or beans or eggs as their source of protein."

She added: "We know we have significant challenges with obesity in Wolverhampton – with more than a quarter of our 10-year-olds obese, compared to just under a fifth nationally, and nearly 70% of adults overweight or obese, compared to a national average of 64%.

"Even small changes to people's diets can make a big change to someone’s health and wellbeing, and JanUary is a great reason for us all to give it a try."

For delectable dish ideas, please visit To find out more about the Eatwell Plate, please visit

JanUary, the new name for National Obesity Awareness Week, takes place from today (Monday 11 January) to Sunday 17 January, 2016, and seeks to highlight simple steps people can take to live a healthier lifestyle. People can get more information on healthy eating, nutrition and exercise by visiting its website at