Health campaign launched after obesity shown to increase risk of death from coronavirus

People are being encouraged to lose weight to protect themselves against cornavirus.

People are being encouraged to lose weight to protect themselves against cornavirus. - Credit: Archant

Nearly two thirds of adults in North Somerset are overweight or obese, figures reveal, as the Government launches a strategy to slim down the nation’s waistlines.

The Government has launched its Better Health campaign after a report from Public Health England (PHE) found being overweight or obese can dramatically increase the risk of being admitted to hospital or dying from Covid-19.

PHE figures show 62 per cent of adults in North Somerset were classed as overweight or obese.

The extra weight causes pressure to build up around vital organs, making it harder for the body to fight against diseases like cancer, heart disease and now Covid-19.

The Government’s obesity strategy includes banning shops from running ‘buy one, get one free’ promotions on unhealthy products, ending junk food adverts on TV and online before 9pm and forcing restaurants and takeaways to add calorie labels to menus.

North Somerset Council’s health trainers are offering free support service to help people lose weight and become more active.

Cllr Mike Bell, North Somerset Council’s deputy leader whose portfolio includes health, said: “Coronavirus has made us all realise what’s really important to us – our family, friends and our health.

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“For nearly all of us, coronavirus has meant that life has had to change and lockdown has shown us that we can make and sustain changes to our lifestyles. This is opportunity for a national reset moment and to really take our own health seriously.

“By reducing your weight to within a healthy range, you can cut your risk of being critically ill with Covid-19, and our health trainer service can help you with this.”

Health trainers provide tailored advice to help people achieve their health goals, such as losing weight, eating healthier, reducing alcohol consumption and kicking smoking habits.

Cllr Bell added: “If you’re someone who’s overweight at the moment, I’d really urge you to make that call and contact our health trainers. Even if you’ve tried to lose weight before and fallen back into old habits, our health trainers are there for you, to provide positive, non-judgemental, free support.”

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