On Monday 27 July, Public Health England launched a major new adult health campaign to seize the opportunity for a national reset moment. Better Health will help capture the imagination of the nation, using this unique moment in time to help kick start our health – to eat better and get active.
COVID-19 has affected the whole country; for almost everyone, life has had to fundamentally change. But it has also prompted many people to reflect and think more seriously about their health. What’s more, people have been surprised by how able they have been to change their behaviour, with lockdown showing many that they are able to make and sustain changes to their lives.
The Better Health campaign will kick off by supporting individuals on their weight loss journey, but, later down the line, will also provide advice and support for quitting smoking, drinking less and looking after your mental health.
Nearly two thirds (63%) of adults in the UK are overweight or living with obesity1. Gaining weight is often a gradual process that takes place over a number of years and modern life doesn’t always make it easy. But 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.
By reducing your weight within a healthy range, you can help cut your risk of being critically ill with COVID-19. To improve health and wellbeing, individuals should aim to have a BMI below 25 and above 18.52. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups (BAME) should aim to have a BMI below 23 and above 18.5 to avoid risks to health3.
To support people to live healthier lives, the brand-new Better Health webpage will be available at nhs.uk/BetterHealth. It provides tools to help people manage their weight loss – from checking their BMI, to getting access to free support tools including the NHS 12-week weight loss plan. The NHS 12-week weight loss plan, available both online and via a new app, promotes evidence based safe and sustainable weight loss. It helps users to make healthier choices, by providing the most up to date evidence based healthy eating and physical activity advice in a magazine format that enables them to keep track of their calorie intake, portions of fruit and veg, physical activity level and teaches skills to prevent weight gain. There will also be exclusive offers from other well-known weight management providers to offer further support.
Later down the line, support will also be made available to help people quit smoking and look after their mental health. With the Better Health tools www.nhs.uk/BetterHealthpeople can live well and set goals, see progress and feel a real difference on their weight loss journey.