Dr Annet Gamell is the Chief Clinical Officer for the Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Group, made up of 34 GP practices in Amersham, Wycombe and across South Bucks, serving a population of more than 320,000 and controlling a budget in excess of £320 million.

Here, she writes exclusively for the Bucks Free Press:

It’s the New Year – time for a new you? What’s your New Year’s resolution?

It’s that time of year again when most of us make one – we have ambitions to improve the way we live or feel about ourselves.

Living a healthier lifestyle is absolutely the right thing to resolve to do. But sometimes we decide to do too many things at once or to change too abruptly and falter at the first step.

Can I therefore make a suggestion? Let’s focus on weight. Obesity is the biggest problem affecting our health as a society in the 21st century – it’s been likened to the threat that smoking became in the 20th century.

Six out of 10 adults in Buckinghamshire are overweight or obese. Being overweight puts you at risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, musculoskeletal disorders, breathing disorders and certain cancers.

To help you get inspired, ‘Do something good for JanUary’ is a national campaign running from January 11 to 17 to raise awareness of healthy lifestyles.

It is encouraging people to make not massive, unrealistic and unsustainable e changes to their lives, but rather to make smaller, easier adjustments that they are more likely to keep up in the long term.

There are great tips on fitness, weight loss and eating well, with healthy recipes and food advice – see www.jan-u-ary.co.uk.

Dietary advice brings us neatly to the next point, and a good place to start in terms of your own resolution: look at your sugar intake.

Recent studies have alarmingly shown that children between ages 4 and 10 consume up to 23kg of sugar (approximately 5,500 sugar cubes!) in a year in sugary drinks, sugar-coated breakfast cereals, sweets, cakes and biscuits.

This is extremely worrying. So it’s not just about you but about also your families and – especially – children.

Think about this with snacks, meals and the weekly shop. To help you, take a look at the Change4life website (www.nhs.uk/ change4life) for swaps and alternatives to sugar.

It also includes links to the Sugar Smart app – a free app that allows parents or carers to check the sugar content of the foods they buy by scanning the contents of their shopping basket with their smartphone.

It is an eye-opening and useful tool. It is well worth giving a try, and the database of products it recognises is still growing.

Don’t forget, too, that alcohol contains a lot of sugar and can ramp up the calories. Physical activity is vital in this context.

One in four adults in Bucks currently does less than 30 minutes of moderate physical activity in a week. A hundred and fifty minutes a week is more in line with recommendations for healthier living.

This is about being active, and not being a couch potato. If your activity around the house and in your daily routine is good enough, it does not have to involve gym membership or sports clubs.

If you have such a membership, that’s fine – use it. However, I want to emphasise that being physically active for those who do little is not about pumping iron and building enormous muscles or being adept at sport – it’s simply about walking, bending, stretching, climbing stairs, doing housework, gardening, etc. Start simple and with what you know you can do, then add in more later.

Remember, changing your behaviour is in your control.

It doesn’t need a pill or expense. Be determined. Take control. You will feel healthier for it.

A New Year – A New You.