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Written by:
Muireann Leonard
August 31, 2018

On Thursday 30 August, Regional Hospital Mullingar launched its 'Guide to Managing Your Weight', the first of its kind by a hospital in Ireland.

This easy-to-use booklet was produced as a joint initiative between the Physiotherapy and Nutrition & Dietetic Departments at the hospital and gives practical advice to managing weight. Currently no resource like this exists, incorporating dietetic and physiotherapy advice to help people manage their weight. It is not a weight loss, diet or exercise workout guide, but rather a guide to living a healthy lifestyle on a day-to-day basis and managing your weight by following the simple yet effective guidelines outlined.

Useful tips and information include: the more you move the better your mood, advice on portion sizes, and a Step Ladder to track recommended steps per day for your BMI.

Speaking at the launch, Shona Schneemann, General Manager of Regional Hospital Mullingar said, “This booklet is not a guide to losing weight. It’s a guide to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. We want to encourage people to make two or three small changes in their lives. Get comfortable with them over time. Then make another two or three changes”.

The booklet was developed by Regional Hospital Mullingar’s Chartered Physiotherapist, Noeleen Bourke, Anne Marie Keogh, Registered Dietitian, Grainne Flanagan, Dietitian Manager and Mary Wallace, Physiotherapy Manager. Research for the booklet has been conducted for over a year with information included from organisations like Safe Food and Croi, as well as guidance from medical experts like Professor Donal O’Shea who is HSE Clinical Lead for Obesity.

Speaking at the launch, Noeleen Bourke said, “The aim of the booklet is to help educate, motivate and inform people about as many weight related issues as possible. Speaking to patients they can become overwhelmed by all the different aspects when it comes to maintaining their weight. This booklet will hopefully act as a simple guide that will aid people when it comes to their weight.”

The booklet will be available to any patient who requests help managing their weight, free of charge via the Ireland East Hospital Group’s website (see link below). The guide will also help healthcare professionals when advising and treating patients. It will act as a reference guide when patients have any questions about how to manage their weight. Currently, the advice given is based on the healthcare professional’s experience and knowledge of evidence-based practice. This guide compiles this information into an easy-to-use format. This booklet will now be their first port of call.

This is the first step in helping those wanting to address any weight issues they may have. Regional Hospital Mullingar want to monitor people’s weight who attend their physio and dietetic services. By doing this it will give them a better picture of the needs and requirements of their patients and help shape any future guidelines created.

You can download the booklet from Regional Hospital Mullingar's page on the IEHG website at:

Additional photos can be viewed on our Gallery page.

Pictured at the launch l-r: Mary Wallace, RHM Physiotherapy Manager. Emer O’Malley, Senior Physiotherapist at St Columcille's Hospital, Grainne Flanagan, RHM Dietitian Manager, Noeleen Bourke, RHM Chartered Physiotherapist, Shona Schneemann, RHM General Manager, Anne Kelly, RHM Director of Nursing, Anne-Marie Keogh, RHM Registered Dietitian.