A new national campaign has launched – Better Health – to support people to live healthier lives and reduce their risk of serious illness, including COVID-19.
Growing evidence suggests that being obese or excessively overweight puts people at greater risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19.
Nearly two thirds (63%) of adults in the UK are overweight or living with obesity. This extra weight causes pressure to build up around vital organs, making it harder for the body to fight against diseases like cancer, heart disease and now COVID-19.
Better Health help and support
The campaign urges people to work towards a healthier weight with the support of free tools and apps to help us eat better, lose weight 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 Better Health webpage has a free ‘How Are You’ online health quiz which will help people review their health and signpost to further support including apps such as Couch to 5K, Active10, Food Scanner and Easy Meals.
Knowsley residents can also access free local support, information and advice with weight management, keeping active and more from the Healthy Knowsley Service by phoning 0800 0731 202 or 0151 289 9555 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cllr Sean Donnelly, Knowsley Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said:
“We know how hard it can be to lose weight and keep it off – the Better Health campaign aims to 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.
“People living in Knowsley can also access support from our Healthy Knowsley Service which can offer support with weight management and keeping active.”
Professor Kevin Fenton, London Regional Director at Public Health England, added:
“Gaining weight often happens gradually over time and can be just the odd unhealthy habit mounting up, but extra weight puts pressure on our bodies and reduces our strength to fight off serious diseases, including COVID-19.
“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.”
Alongside mass nationwide promotion, the campaign will specifically target areas and groups that are most affected by obesity and excess weight and is supported by a coalition of partners, including those providing weight management services.
The Better Health campaign is one of a raft of measures that have been revealed as part of the government’s new Obesity Strategy and over the next few months will include wider support to help people live healthier lives, with advice on quitting smoking and how people can look after their mental health.
For free tools and support to start leading a healthier lifestyle visit: nhs.uk/betterhealth