Public Health England (PHE) has launched a new adult health campaign to encourage adults to eat healthier, lose weight and to get advice on health choices.

A recent PHE report shows that 16.3% of Asian men and 23.6% of Asian women are living with obesity, which puts them at greater risk of diseases including cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

The report also shows that obsess people are significantly more likely to become seriously ill and be admitted to intensive care with COVID-19 compared to those with a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI).

The Better Health campaign, which forms part of the Government’s new Obesity Strategy, will specifically target groups that have higher rates of obesity including South Asians, black Africans and black Caribbeans.

The campaign will provide access to a range of tools, information, and advice to help people with weight loss.

This includes a 12-week NHS Weight Loss Plan which provides exercise plans and healthy food options to support users in maintaining a healthy weight.

Professor Wasim Hanif, Chairman Diabetes Working Group at the South Asian Health Foundation (SAHF) said: “The South Asian community is already predisposed to many serious health conditions that are exacerbated by being overweight or obese, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and now most significantly, Coronavirus.

“As the latest figures reveal that over 16.3% of Asian men and 23.6% of Asian women are living with obesity, we support the Better Health campaign’s attempts to provide practical guidance to how we all can live a healthier life.”

Professor Kevin Fenton, London Regional Director at Public Health England, said: “Gaining weight often happens gradually over time and can be just the odd unhealthy habit mounting up, but the extra weight puts pressure on our bodies and reduces our strength to fight off serious diseases, including COVID-19.

“COVID-19 has given us a wake-up call to get our health back on track. We know how hard it can be to lose weight and keep it off – our Better Health campaign aims to make it easier for everyone to introduce changes that will help them maintain a healthy weight. It’s never too late, or too early, to make changes that will have a lasting impact on your health.”

The Better Health campaign was developed with local authorities, health charities, multi-cultural specialists, and experts to ensure it is compatible with different communities.

The campaign will be supported by weight management organisations including WW, weight watchers reimagined, Slimming World and GetSlim, who will be offering exclusive discounts to coincide with the launch.

More information from the NHS on healthy lifestyles can be found here:  nhs.uk/betterhealth