Public Health England has launched ‘Better Health’, a new campaign to help improve physical and mental health across the country. Better Health encourages people across the nation to lose excess weight, eat more healthily and get active and provides useful tools to help.

The new campaign offers free evidence-based support and guidance to those working towards a healthier weight. There are a variety of NHS endorsed apps which will help people to introduce changes that will help them eat better and get active, including the newly updated NHS Weight Loss Plan app and Drink Free Days which helps people cut down alcohol consumption.

New research published by Public Health England (PHE) suggests that those who used and followed the NHS Weight Loss Plan app over 12 weeks, reported a loss on average of almost a stone.

The move follows a nationwide survey of over 5,000 adults which revealed that over 4 in 10 adults in England say they have put on weight since the first lockdown in March 2020. Almost over half a stone was gained on average by those who put on weight, with 1 in 5 reporting putting on a stone or more. In adults aged 35 to 65 years old, the average weight gain for those who put on weight during lockdown rises to over 10lbs.

The new insights show the extent that lockdowns have impacted people’s eating and physical activity habits. Unhealthy eating habits, like snacking and comfort eating, were reported as the main contributor to weight gain during the pandemic for nearly half of those who reported gaining weight.

A high proportion of adults who said they gained weight since March 2020 said it was important for them to introduce new healthy habits this summer, with nearly half saying they would like to have a healthier diet. Half of adults feel optimistic about making the changes they desire, and a majority would welcome more advice on eating more healthily, ideas for doing so on a budget, and ideas for exercise routines.

Worcester MP Robin Walker said:

“The past couple of years has given us all time to think about our lifestyles. I speak to lots of constituents who say that the Covid pandemic has led to a significant change in lifestyle and as they return to normality they will make health and fitness a greater priority.

“It’s encouraging to see that Public Health England are providing people with the tools to make healthy lifestyle choices. No matter what your goal there are resources such as the Couch to 5k to help get you running, Drink Free Days to help cut down on alcohol consumption and others to help you eat healthier and lose weight.

“I urge Worcester residents to visit www.nhs.uk/better-health to see if there is something there that could help them!”

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.”