Free website aims to help people lose weight and put an end to “yo-yo” dieting!

Monday 28 December, 2009. safefood today launched a new advertising campaign for, the free weight loss website from safefood.

Developed by nutritionists at safefood with support from dietitians in the Irish Nutrition and Dietetics Institute (INDI), Weigh2live provides independent and credible advice on how to lose weight in a healthy way.

Research¹ from the latest SLÁN survey (Survey on Lifestyle, Attitudes and Nutrition) has revealed that over a third (34%) of women and almost a quarter of men (23%) in the Republic of Ireland are trying to lose weight. This online resource aims to support their efforts.

Dr. Marian Faughnan, Nutritionist with safefood said, “After the Christmas cheer and with the beginning of the New Year, many people are considering weight loss plans, but often resort to fad diets which are just that - fads. While many people who try these diets may initially lose some weight, all too often they end up putting the weight back on and enter a yo-yo dieting cycle. In reality, there’s no quick fix for losing weight and these fad diets can be very restrictive. Weigh2Live can help people on the road to reaching and maintaining a healthier weight. Some people may think 10% is not very much but if you are overweight, losing 10% of your body weight can have a really positive impact on your long-term health”, continued Dr. Faughnan.

safefood research (2) has also shown that for almost one in two people (49%) in the Republic of Ireland the main factor that motivates them to lose weight is for health reasons, followed by general well-being (28%), and to look better (26%). Dr. Faughnan added, “It is encouraging that so many people mention health reasons as one of the main motivating factors in losing weight. However, it takes willpower to lose weight and with the New Year just around the corner, people can build on that resolution to start afresh with the belief that they can really do it and reach a healthier weight”.

Margot Brennan, Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute said, “Losing weight and keeping it off involves long-term lifestyle changes. Making small changes can have a big impact on your overall weight and health. This website is designed to help you take practical steps and get back on track when you are finding it tough. The changes can fit in with your everyday life and become your new norm.”

Weigh2Live includes a food and physical activity diary, interactive BMI calculator with waist measurement guide as well as practical advice on healthy eating whether at home or when eating out, tips on food shopping, understanding food portions, and healthy recipes. Regular users of the site can also register to keep track of their progress on the site, sign up for free weekly motivational SMS text messages and receive a free pedometer to encourage them to be more active. will also be supported by television and online advertising, Public Relations and Direct Marketing activity including a handy free information booklet for consumers, and a leaflet for health professionals including GPs, practice nurses and dietitians.

For more information on healthy weight loss and to receive a free information leaflet, visit or call the safefood helpline on 1850 404 567.

- ENDS -

For further information please contact

Susie Cunningham/Cliodhna Lamont, WHPR
087 8505055 (Susie) and 087 9250874 (Cliodhna)


Dermot Moriarty, safefood
Tel: (086) 3811034

Editor’s Notes

Click on the links below to view new TV advert & access stills


  1. One Island – One Lifestyle?’ - Health and lifestyles in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland: Comparing the population surveys SLÁN 2007 and NIHSWS 2005, Department of Health and Children 2009
  2. Safetrak 10 (safefood /Millward Brown Lansdowne November 2008)

Additional Statistics

  1. The World Health Organisation projects that by 2015, approximately 2.3 billion adults will be overweight and more than 700 million will be obese. At least 20 million children under the age of 5 years are overweight globally in 2005. It is considered a global epidemic.
  2. 39% of adults in the Republic of Ireland aged 18-44 years are overweight (45% men and 33% women) and 25% are obese (24% men and 26% women) (SLAN, 2008) based on measurements of 2,170 adults)
  3. A weight gain of 11-18lbs doubles a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes, while a weight gain of 44lbs quadruples the risk (Ford et al., 1997).
  4. A weight loss of 10% reduced the expected number of years of life with hypertension and diabetes by 1.5 and 0.8 respectively; reduced the lifetime risk of CHD by 12 to 38 cases per 1000 and increased life expectancy by 2 months (Oster et al., 1999).
  5. Research backed up by years of evidence shows that the key to weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight is behavioural change to a healthful lifestyle
    i. consume a healthy balanced diet that emphasises fruits, vegetables and whole grains,
    ii. include a wide variety of foods
    iii. limit saturated fats and trans fats.
    iv. engage in moderate intensity physical activity for at least 30 minutes on at least 5 days per week. Exercise is key to promoting a healthy weight as there is evidence that exercise alters several metabolic processes that slows down the body’s tendency to regain lost weight (Shai and Stampfer, 2008, Mclean et al., 2009)
    v. exercise moderate restrained eating rather than dieting (Rideout and Barr, 2009) 
  6. The aim is to lose a slow but sustainable 1-2 pounds or less per week.
  7. More recent studies have shown that behavioural weight loss programmes are successful in enabling participants to maintain a weight below their initial level when followed up by continued support and encouragement from various sources (Sveltkey et al., 2009)
  8. A survey in the US of over 30,000 adults published in 2004 (Kruger) showed that only one-third were following moderate dietary restriction combined with exercise.
  9. More popular with individuals trying to loose weights are “diets” such as skipping meals, not eating for 24 hours, weight loss pills, “detox” diets, meal replacement diets, low carbohydrate diets (South beach diet, Stone Age diet, Go-lower Diet and the Atkins diet) and Herbal diets and very low calorie diets. Evidence based research has consistently shown that while these diets can cause rapid weight loss, weight regain in very common and that in many cases participant in such programmes gained back more weight than was originally lost (Ulen et al., 2008)

Weigh2live SMS Service

To help you get the balance right when trying to lose weight and obtain tips on how to keep it off, simply text START to 51500 (Standard SMS costs apply) and you will receive your free Weigh2live weekly motivational SMS messages for 12 weeks.

SMS Terms and Conditions

  • The texting service will commence on 28th December 2009
  • This service is being provided by safefood
  • You must have the bill-payer’s permission to take part
  • This service is only open to residents of ROI and NI
  • Neither safefood, nor Púca are responsible for any network delay or non-receipt of messages
  • SP: Púca (00353 1-4995939 / PO Box 10975)