New campaign launch reveals six major health benefits for weight loss

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  • More than 3 in 5 adults (63% of the adult population) are at increased risk of serious illness and becoming seriously ill with COVID-19 due to being overweight
  • The benefits of losing weight translate into a unique look inside the body and include the prevention of up to 12 types of cancer and the prevention of chronic back pain

A new Better Health marketing campaign was launched today to help people prevent the risks of developing serious illness and reduce the risk of being hospitalized with COVID-19.

Better Health works in partnership with 15 weight management and physical activity partners who offer free and discounted offers. The website will also indicate local support for weight management.

From reducing the risk of serious illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and up to 12 types of cancer, to reducing the risk of hospitalization with COVID-19, the multimedia campaign highlights the issues of serious health problems that could be avoided by losing the excess weight and offers free support and advice to achieve this goal.

It is estimated that more than 3 in 5 adults (1) are at an increased risk of serious illnesses due to being overweight. Losing just 5% of body weight can dramatically reduce the risk of heart disease and could make all the difference in preventing treatable heart disease (2).

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

  1. Decreased risk of common cancers (colon, liver, pancreas, kidney)
  2. Decreased risk of increased blood pressure
  3. Reduced risk of heart disease
  4. Less risk of developing diabetes
  5. Less stress from chronic back and joint pain
  6. Decreased risk of being hospitalized or becoming seriously ill with COVID-19

The benefits were uniquely demonstrated, in a full body x-ray animation providing a window to the body, highlighting six key health risks that can be reduced if excess weight is lost.

General practitioner and TV doctor Dr Hillary Jones said:

These six benefits highlight the impact of being overweight 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.

Along with Better Health, there are a variety of free NHS-approved online apps, resources and tools to help people make 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.

Public Health Minister Maggie Throup said:

The Better Health campaign returns today, focusing on improving the health of adults and helping them achieve healthier weights.

January is a great time of year to make resolutions and hopefully people can use it as a kick-start to being more active and eating healthier, especially when weight loss can have an impact. so positive on our health, including reducing the risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer and co-head of the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy said:

The New Year is a great time to make healthy changes.

The Better Health campaign describes the health benefits of losing weight and gives people the tools and resources to make small changes to improve their health.

Vanessa Hebditch, policy director at the British Liver Trust, said:

Obesity is a public health emergency and urgent action to address it is needed to reduce the prevalence of fatty liver disease and other serious health problems.

By 2030, experts predict unrelated fatty liver disease (NALFD) will become the leading cause of liver disease in the UK. Liver damage develops silently without any signs or symptoms, and people often don’t realize they have a problem until it’s too late. About one in five of us is already susceptible to the early stages of fatty liver disease and many people are unaware that being overweight is a major risk factor for this.

The British Liver Trust is proud to support the Better Health campaign which will help us all make better choices about what we eat and drink, while encouraging us to become more active.

Dan Howarth, Head of Care at Diabetes UK, said:

There are many factors that can increase your likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, such as age, family history, and ethnicity. But research shows that living with obesity is the biggest risk factor, accounting for about 80-85% of your risk of developing the disease.

The number of people suffering from obesity is on the rise, and with around 13.6 million people in the UK at increased risk for type 2 diabetes, it has never been more vital to support those who are striving achieve a healthy weight. The Better Health campaign is an important part of the work being done to bring this support to people, while raising awareness of the benefits of losing weight.

For more information on type 2 diabetes, visit diabetes.org.uk.

Dr Aisling McMahon, Executive Director: Research, Innovation and Policy at Kidney Research UK, said:

Being overweight or obese can dramatically increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, two of the main causes of kidney disease. In fact, research we funded in partnership with the Medical Research Council has also shown that obesity itself increases the risk of developing kidney disease. With three million people in the UK already living with kidney disease and knowing that obesity levels are on the rise, that number could rise rapidly.

Campaigns, like Better Health, are so important in supporting weight management and healthy lifestyles to protect our kidney health, and there are a number of free resources to help us get started.

Better Health offers many free tips and tools to help people get started if they want to lose weight, eat better, or get active; and the site can help you find additional weight loss support. Look for “Better health”.

Notes to Editors:

  • New Better Health Full Body X-ray Animation Can Be Watched here

  • The list of six benefits was created based on evidence cited in the government’s obesity strategy: ‘Tackling Obesity: Empowering adult and children to live healthy life’, alongside the NHS and additional sources (3), to provide motivating reasons for the public to eat better and get active in 2022.

  • Better Health works in partnership with 16 weight management and physical activity partners, including:
  • Physical activity: our parks, Sport England, Better Leisure Centers, InstructorLive, Anytime Fitness, Pure Gym, Her Spirit
  • Weight Management: Slimming World, GetSlim, MAN v FAT Football, WW – Weight Watchers, Second Nature, Healthier for Life, EFL Trust FIT Fans and Noom Weight
  • Free local weight management services are provided by most local authorities. Visit the Better Health website to learn more

The references

  1. England Health Survey 2019
  2. NIHR, Being Overweight or Obese is Linked to Heart Disease Even Without Other Metabolic Risk Factors, https://evidence.nihr.ac.uk/alert/being-overweight-or-obese-is-linked-with-heart- disease- even-without-other-metabolic-risk-factors /
  3. The Obesity Strategy “Tackling Obesity: Empowering Adults and Children to Live Healthier Lives” https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tackling-obesity-government-strategy/ tackling-obesity-empowering-adults-and-children- to-live-healthier-lives NHS / additional sources https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/high-blood-pressure-hypertension/prevention/ Coronary heart disease – Prevention – NHS (www.nhs.uk) Weight loss and diabetes | Diabetes UK What is diabetes remission and how does it work? | Spotlight on Diabetes UK Research – Putting Type 2 Diabetes into Remission | Diabetes UK https://www.guysandstthomas.nhs.uk/resources/patient-information/therapies/physiotherapy/low%20back%20pain%20web.pdf https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/back-pain/ ? src = conditionswidget

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