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New campaign to encourage weight loss in 2022

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Losing weight could protect against COVID Losing weight could protect against COVID

A new initiative has been launched by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to help people reduce the risk of developing serious illness and being hospitalised with COVID-19.

According to the DHSC, over 3 in 5 adults (63% of adult population) are at an increased risk from serious diseases and becoming seriously ill with COVID-19 as a result of being overweight. Losing just 5% of body weight can seriously reduce the chance of heart disease and could make all the difference in preventing treatable heart conditions.

Read more: 12,000 patients miss out on cardiac rehab because of COVID pandemic

‘The Better Health campaign returns today, focusing on improving adults’ health and helping them get to a healthier weight,’ said Public Health Minister Maggie Throup.

‘January is a great time of the year for making resolutions and I hope that people can use this as a kick start moment to be more active and eat healthier – especially when losing body weight can have such a positive impact on our health, including reducing the chance of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19.’

The new campaign highlights 6 benefits that could have a lasting impact on a person’s health by being a healthier weight:

  • Decreased risk of common cancers (colon, liver, pancreas, kidney)
  • Lowered risk of increased blood pressure
  • Reduced risk of heart disease
  • Less risk of developing diabetes
  • Less strain from chronic back and joint pain
  • Decreased risk of being hospitalised or becoming seriously ill with COVID-19

‘There are many factors that can increase your likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, such as age, family history and ethnicity. But research shows living with obesity is the single greatest risk factor, accounting for about 80 to 85% of your risk of developing the condition,’ said Dan Howarth, Head of Care at Diabetes UK.

Read more: RCN welcomes new 'Plan B' measures to stop the spread of the Omicron variant

‘The number of people living with obesity is rising and, with an estimated 13.6 million people in the UK at increased risk of type 2 diabetes, it has never been more vital to support those who are working towards a healthier weight. The Better Health campaign is an important part of the work being done to give people that support, while raising awareness of the benefits of losing weight.’

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