Obese people are:
- at increased risk of certain cancers, including being 3 times more likely to develop colon cancer
- more than 2.5 times more likely to develop high blood pressure - a risk factor for heart disease
- 5 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes
Being overweight also puts people at greater risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19, with the risk growing substantially as body mass index (BMI) increases. Nearly 8% of critically ill patients with COVID-19 in intensive care units have been morbidly obese, compared with 2.9% of the general population.
Take control of your future by losing weight, getting active and adopting a healthier lifestyle.
EAT MORE HEALTHY
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health and weight, and can help you feel your best. This means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions, and consuming the right amount of food and drink to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. Most people in the UK eat and drink too many calories, too much saturated fat, sugar and salt, and not enough fruit, vegetables, oily fish or fibre.
The NHS Eatwell Guide shows the proportions of the main food groups that form a healthy, balanced diet:
- at at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day
- base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy carbohydrates, choosing wholegrain versions where possible
- have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soy drinks); choosing lower fat and lower sugar options
- eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 portions of fish every week, 1 of which should be oily)
- choose unsaturated oils and spreads and eat in small amounts
- drink 6 to 8 cups/glasses of fluid a day
- If consuming foods and drinks high in fat, salt or sugar have these less often and in small amounts.
No matter how much you do, physical activity is perfect for your body and mind and will help you to lose and maintain a healthy weight. Adults should try to be active every day. Even a daily brisk walk can boost your fitness levels, improve your mood and well being and make everyday activities easier. To keep fit and healthy, try and get at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week, or around 20 to 30 minutes a day.
7 simple tips to get more active
- Get into a good habit and aim to get up and move every 30 minutes during the day. Try stretching during TV ad breaks or walk around the kitchen or up and down the stairs while the kettle’s boiling.
- Always take a lunch break and leave your desk - venture outside to get some fresh air and unwind at the same time.
- Try standing when you can instead of sitting, even for short periods of time throughout the day will add up and improve your strength.
- Take up an active hobby like gardening or DIY, it can be great for your mind as well as your body.
- Track your progress - hitting your daily target will feel great! Using tracking apps can help, but even just a checklist on a piece of paper will do.
- Do something active with friends and family like grabbing a quick coffee and taking a walk around the park.
- Strength-building activities from carrying heavy shopping bags to visiting the gym or taking a yoga class – all will keep muscles, joints and bones strong. Aim to do this at least twice a week.
You can easily check your BMI by using the NHS BMI calculator.
Take action now and start losing weight. Why not download the NHS weight loss guide – a free 12-week diet and exercise plan.
It’s available as an app on the App Store and on Google Play or as a printable PDF