Channelnewsasia : In a remote corner of northwestern Spain, a small town has set itself the ultimate weight loss challenge: by early 2020, its residents must shed 100,000kg (220,500 pounds).
Gone are bacon and fried calamari from the diets of thousands of residents in Naron who are taking to sport again as part of a slimming programme that kicked off in January. “In the 21st century, people forget they’re made to walk,” says Carlos Pineiro, the 63-year-old family doctor behind the programme, which has the support of the town council. Pineiro often swaps his practice for the local wooded park where he helps dozens of others warm up and exercise.
Conrado Vilela Villamar, a 65-year-old former crane operator, is one of Pineiro’s regulars.
“In Spain where people say that you can eat everything in the pig, from the tip of the tail to the tip of the nose, the first food I stripped from my diet are tripe, pork belly and cold cuts,” he says.
Perched on the Atlantic coast of the Galicia region, the 40,000-strong town counts 9,000 overweight residents and another 3,000 who suffer from obesity, Pineiro says.
Known for its gastronomy and often gargantuan dishes, Galicia is the region in Spain with the most overweight people, according to a study by the Spanish Society of Cardiology.
“The rainy weather means people stay at home a lot with a very big daily ingestion of calories,” says Pineiro.
More than 4,000 residents – or a tenth of the population – have joined the project.
To show their support, the mayor, Marian Ferreiro, and her municipal councillors weighed themselves together in public on giant scales.
The programme, drawn up by local doctors, offers personalised diets and physical activity adapted to those who adhere.