A new national campaign is underway to encourage millions of adults to kick start their health and reduce their risk of serious illness, including COVID-19.
The campaign – unveiled as part of the Government’s new Obesity Strategy – encourages adults to introduce changes that will help them work towards a healthier weight, with a suite of free tools and apps supporting people to eat better, drink less alcohol and get active. This includes a new app for the free 12-week NHS Weight Loss Plan, helping people make healthier food choices and learn skills to prevent weight gain.
The current evidence does not suggest that having excess weight increases people’s chances of contracting COVID-19. However, data shows that obese people are significantly more likely to become seriously ill and be admitted to intensive care with COVID-19 compared to those with a healthy BMI.
PHE has released a new film explaining how weight gain happens, the impact that it has on our bodies and how it increases the risk of serious diseases. The film helps people know when to act and encourages them to visit the Better Health website to find out about the available support.
Angela Baker, Deputy Director for Public Health England South East, said:
“Gaining weight often happens gradually over time and can be just the odd unhealthy habit mounting up particularly since we have all be working at home. Extra weight puts pressure on our bodies and reduces our strength to fight off serious diseases, including Covid-19.
“Covid-19 has given us a wake-up call to get our health back on track. We know how hard it can be to lose weight and keep it off – our Better Health campaign will make it easier for everyone to introduce changes that will help them maintain a healthy weight. It’s never too late – or too early – to make changes that will have a lasting impact on your health.”
Many people have used lockdown as an opportunity to change habits and adopt healthier behaviours, yet research has shown over half the population has found it harder to stay healthy during this time. While staying active is important to help people lose weight and keep it off, improving diet is most critical as most people are consuming more calories than they need.
Search ‘Better Health’ or visit nhs.uk/betterhealth for free tools and support to start leading a healthier lifestyle today.