NHS launches new Weight Loss Plan app

Obesity costs the NHS over £6 billion a year and almost 63% of adults in England are overweight or living with obesity. Current evidence does not suggest that having excess weight increases people’s chances of contracting COVID-19. However, data shows that obese people are significantly more likely to become seriously ill and be admitted to intensive care with COVID-19 compared to those with a healthy BMI. Evidence also shows that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities are disproportionately affected by obesity as well as COVID-19.

This week the Government launched their new obesity strategy and Better Health campaign. This new campaign aims to get the nation fit and healthy and protect individuals from COVID-19.

The free 12-week NHS Weight Loss Plan app helps support people to adopt healthier eating habits, be more active and lose weight if they need to. The app starts by checking your body mass index (BMI). BMI is a tool that uses your height and weight, along with your age, ethnicity and activity levels to work out your ideal weight range.

If your BMI indicates you are underweight it’s important to explore why, have you lost weight without meaning to? The Greater Manchester Nutrition and Hydration Programme can offer advice and support.

If your BMI indicates you are overweight, this may increase your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Other risk factors include:

  • If you’re over 40 and white, or over 25 and African-Caribbean, Black-African, Chinese or South Asian
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Having high blood pressure
  • History of a heart attack or stroke
  • History of schizophrenia, bipolar illness or depression, or if you are receiving treatment with anti-psychotic medication
  • You've had polycystic ovaries, gestational diabetes, or a baby weighing over 10 pounds

You can’t change some of these risk factors. But others you can. The risk of Type 2 diabetes can be reduced significantly by reducing weight, increasing physical activity and improving your diet. Your local Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme service can support you in taking action in all of these areas. Making changes now can lower your risk or even stop you developing Type 2 diabetes.

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