A recent England-wide survey revealed over 90% of Black adults have made the decision to make healthy changes in 2021, with 7 in 10 saying that they are motivated to make these changes due to coronavirus.1
In addition, the survey found that 36% of those surveyed said they wanted to adopt a healthier lifestyle for their children/grandchildren, whilst 29% wanted to improve their health for their partner. The data also revealed the most common things people want to do differently in the new year are exercising more (60%) and eating more healthily (58%).
Currently over 73% of Black adults are overweight or obese2, putting them at greater risk of becoming seriously ill from diseases including cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Despite the latest coronavirus restrictions, there are still lots of ways for people to make these healthier choices and Public Health England’s Better Health campaign encourages and supports adults in taking small steps towards a healthier lifestyle – whether it’s losing weight or getting more active.
The Better Health website offers a wide range of free NHS approved tools and tips to manage weight loss such as the NHS Weight Loss Plan, BMI Calculator, Easy Meals App, or to get more active such as Active 10 and the Couch to 5k programme.
The Better Health campaign also works in partnership with a number of weight management and physical activity partners who are providing both free and exclusive discounted offers.
Professor Kevin Fenton, London Regional Director at Public Health England, said: “In spite of the stresses and challenges we are facing as a result of COVID-19, it’s especially heartening to see that more people than ever are motivated to make positive changes and adopt a healthier lifestyle this new year.
“The Better Health website has plenty of healthy eating and physical activity tools, ranging from the NHS 12 Week Weight Loss Plan to the Couch to 5k programme, which helps users set achievable goals to improve their overall health and wellbeing.”
Dr Sandra Isibor, Nottinghamshire based GP and Obesity and weight loss management specialist said: “2020 has been a particularly challenging year for the Black community, and now more than ever is a good time for us all to pause, take a breath and reflect upon what we consume both physically and mentally to support our overall wellbeing.
The Better Health website has a wealth of advice that can help boost our health, whether that’s losing weight, getting active or looking after our mental health. The best thing is – it’s free and easy to use, with lots of tips and tools that you can put into practice at your own pace.”
Carl, 40, from Sheffield says: “During the previous lockdown, starting up a new charity was rewarding but tough, however all this new work meant I was not able to take as much care of myself. I would get more fast food being out on the road a lot and didn’t realise I had put weight on during that time. To be able to help kick start my weight loss in 2021, I am trying to find alternative foods that I can eat – and plan on using the Easy Meals app to help with this.”
PHE are working with (Black) healthcare professionals and other experts to ensure the campaign guidance and tools are culturally compatible with members of the community, as findings also revealed around 32% of Black adults said finding relevant information and tools to help guide better physical health is a big challenge.
Search ‘Better Health’ or visit nhs.uk/betterhealth for free tools and support to start leading a healthier lifestyle today.