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.
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‘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.
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‘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.’