A recent England-wide survey by Public Health England (PHE) reveals that 9 in 10 (91%) of Black adults are motivated to introduce healthy habits into their lifestyle this summer.1
The new insights show the extent that lockdown has impacted the eating and physical activity habits of different communities with 45% of Black adults reporting that they have put on weight since lockdown. On average, those who said they had gained weight during this period reported they had gained over half a stone (5.8kg) and 70% believed this was due to eating unhealthily and too much.1
In response, PHE has launched its latest ‘Better Health’ campaign to encourage adults across the nation to lose excess weight, eat more healthily and get active this summer. The new campaign offers free evidence-based support and guidance to those working towards a healthier weight.
There are a variety of NHS endorsed apps, including the newly updated NHS Weight Loss Plan app – which according to new research due to be published by PHE, suggests that those who used and followed the plan over 12 weeks, reported an average loss of almost a stone.
The wide range of resources also includes new recipes that offer healthier versions of traditional dishes to help people introduce small and simple changes this summer, such as Ewa Oloyin and plantain, Bajan Cou Cou with spicy fish, and Oat Fufu and kale riro. These recipes, and more, will be available on the NHS Easy Meals App.
As part of the campaign, Janet and Paul Soile from London have shared their experience of weight gain during the pandemic and how they are determined to adopt healthier habits by adapting their favorite recipes.
Janet does most of the cooking in her house but husband Paul helps whenever he’s around. Their favourite household recipe includes honey beans and plantain, which Janet would typically fry but she has now switched to air frying or cooking them in the oven. “It comes out very nice – everyone is so surprised at how lovely they taste!” she says. As well as changing her cooking methods, Janet also opts for healthier alternatives such as using sunflower oil instead of palm oil, or low salt stock cubes.
Janet says that the best part of becoming healthier has been doing it together as a family. “Paul and I live, cook, and eat together – and it’s really strengthened our relationship.” By making small changes, Janet says she now feels healthier, happier, and more energised.
Dr. Alison Tedstone, Chief Nutritionist, Public Health England said: “The past sixteen months have caused many to change their habits so it is not a surprise to see so many people reporting weight gain. We know how hard it can be to lose weight and keep it off – so, we are providing a range of support options to help motivate people and help them maintain a healthy weight. It’s never too late to make changes to help improve your health. Visit the Better Health website for ideas and support that is right for you and you can seek support from your local weight management service.”
Janet Soile said: “As Africans, we were used to eating oily foods, but then I learnt about the health risks that come with cooking in this manner and have decided to make a change for my health, and the health of my family.”
Better Health is also working in partnership with a number of weight management and physical activity partners who are providing both free and exclusive discounted offers. Public Health England is also working with local authorities to provide weight management support to those who need it.
The upcoming launch of the new Office for Health Promotion in Autumn will lead national efforts to level up the health of the nation by continuing to support people living with obesity, supporting mental health and promoting physical activity.
Search ‘Better Health’ or visit nhs.uk/betterhealth for free tools and support to start leading a healthier lifestyle today.
About the Better Health campaign
The Better Health webpage provides tools to help people improve their health and lose weight:
- NHS Weight Loss Plan App
- BMI Calculator
- NHS Easy Meals App
- NHS Food Scanner App
Get more active:
- NHS Couch to 5k
- NHS Active 10 App
Reduce alcohol intake:
- NHS Drink Free Days App
All the above apps are free and can be downloaded via the App Store or Google Play.
Written by: Tony Kelly