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Strovolos mayor launches weight loss plan.


Stefanos Evripidou

THE MAYOR of Strovolos has launched an innovative campaign to encourage his workforce to lose weight to make them healthier and fit enough to do their job.

Strovolos mayor Savvas Eliofotou told the Sunday Mail yesterday that he came up with the idea when he noticed that a fair number of the local council's labour force were packing in the pounds, which was hindering them from carrying out their duties well.

From the 150-odd labour force responsible for maintaining parks, roads and pavements, less than half were in a position to actually carry out their duties properly, said Eliofotou.

"Around 40 per cent are considered overweight or obese, another 20 per cent have doctor's letters saying they are medically unfit and can only do light work. But what light work can a labour force employee do? That leaves 40 per cent of the workforce, which shows how serious the problem is in terms of a person's health and output," said the mayor.

Apart from the workforce, the mayor also felt the rubber tube around his own belly growing, and pledged to lose weight in an effort to avoid more serious health problems.

"I noticed I'd been putting on weight and decided one day to do something about it so I could be in a position to lead by example," he said.

The next step was to bring health issues to the foreground by bringing in nutritionists to talk to the staff about health and diet issues. The response was very positive "so we decided to take a focus group for a little experiment", said Eliofotou.

Forty-three employees agreed to undertake a series of comprehensive tests on their weight and health. "The results were amazing," said the Strovolos mayor.

From the 43 employees, 23 were considered overweight or obese, counting for over 50 per cent of the sample. From those 23, seven had 10-15kg extra weight, six had 15-20kg more weight, five had 20-25kg more, three had 25-30kg extra load, one 30-35kg excess weight and another 45kg extra baggage.

According to yesterday's Phileleftheros, the results showed that the 23 workers have increased risk of heart diseases, diabetes, degenerative osteoarthritis, general complications like asthma depression, social discrimination, stroke and hypertension.

"We have finished the diagnosis. Now, we're waiting to see who are willing to be sponsored by the municipality to begin a dietician's programme and see the result. The hope is that others will get jealous and follow suit," said the mayor.

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Publication:Cyprus Mail (Cyprus)
Date:Feb 13, 2011
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