This January, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has launched a new Better Health campaign revealing six major health benefits of losing excess weight to encourage Black adults to live a healthier lifestyle.
It is estimated that over 73%1 of Black adults in the UK are overweight or living with obesity, putting them at greater risk of developing serious diseases linked with carrying excess body weight such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and up to 12 types of cancer. Losing just 5% of body weight can seriously reduce the chance of heart disease and could make all the difference in preventing treatable heart conditions2.
The 6 benefits that could have a lasting impact on a person’s health by being a healthier weight, include:
- Reduced risk of common cancers (including cancers of the colon, oesophagus, kidney and breast)
- Reduced risk of high blood pressure
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- Less strain from chronic back and joint pain
- Reduced risk of being hospitalised or becoming seriously ill with COVID-19
GP and TV Doctor Dr Hillary Jones said: “These six benefits highlight the impact of carrying excess weight, and the range of benefits that can be achieved by reducing your weight. Small changes every day can help you lose weight and feel healthier.
“With Better Health, there are a variety of free NHS endorsed apps, resources and online tools to help people introduce simple changes that will help them eat better and get active this new year, including the NHS Weight Loss Plan, Couch to 5K and Active 10 apps.”
Consultant Dietitian Douglas Twenefour said: “Living with obesity increases the risk of serious health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, stroke and certain types of cancers, which are more prevalent in Black African and Caribbean communities.
“Our community was also hit hardest by the pandemic and obesity increased our chances of being hospitalised or becoming seriously ill with COVID-19. The resources from the Better Health campaign are so important and provide the support to lose weight and reduce such risks. By making a few changes, we can continue to enjoy our traditional foods, lose weight, and become healthier.”
Better Health is working in partnership with 16 weight management and physical activity partners who are providing both free and discounted offers. The website also highlights the free local weight management services provided by Local Authorities.
Public Health Minister Maggie Throup said: “The new Better Health campaign focuses on improving adults’ health and helping them get to a healthier weight.
“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 six benefits’ list has been created based on evidence cited in the Government’s Obesity Strategy: “Tackling Obesity: Empowering adults and children to live healthier lives”, alongside NHS and additional sources, to provide the public with motivating reasons to eat better and get active in 2022.
Better Health has lots of free tips and tools to help people get started if they want to lose weight, eat better or get active. Search ‘Better Health’ to start leading a healthier lifestyle today.