Public Health England (PHE) have launched the campaign Better Health, in a bid to encourage adults nationwide to lose excess weight, eat healthier, and become more active this summer.
Free evidence-based support will be offered as part of the campaign, including guidance for people working towards a healthier lifestyle.
PHE’s research - due to be published shortly - indicates that people who used and followed the NHS Weight Loss Plan app over 12 weeks, reported a loss on average of almost a stone (5.8kg).
Public Health Minister, Jo Churchill, said: “The pandemic has been hugely challenging for everyone and it has upended our daily routines. As we build back better in the months ahead, we want to make it easier for people to adopt a healthier lifestyle that works for them.
“The brilliant Better Health campaign returns today and provides a wide range of tools – including an easy-to-use phone app – to support people, whether that’s losing weight, sharing healthier recipes or motivating people to be more active.
“Our new Office for Health Promotion is going to keep building on the success of this campaign, helping people to make lifestyle choices that improves both their mental and physical health.”
This comes after a nationwide survey carried out on over 5,000 adults, with over 4 in 10 (41%) adults in England saying they put weight on since the first lockdown in March 2020.
On average almost over half a stone (4.1kg) was gained by those who put on weight, with 1 in 5 (21%) saying they put on a stone or more. In adults aged 35 to 65 years old, the average weight gain for those who put on weight, rose to over 10lbs (4.6kg).
Unhealthy eating habits, such as snacking and comfort eating, were reported as being the main contributor when gaining weight during the pandemic, with nearly half (46%) of those reporting weight gain.
Dr Alison Tedstone, Chief Nutritionist, at PHE 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.”
The Better Health campaign will also mean PHE works alongside local authorities to provide weight management support to those in need.
There are already a range of NHS endorsed apps aimed at helping people introduce changes, that will help them eat better and become more active.