Better Health: New public health campaign targets the Black community after figures show more than 70% of Black adults in England are overweight or obese.
A recent England-wide survey revealed over 90% of Black adults have made the decision to make healthy changes in 2021, with seven in 10 saying that they are motivated to make these changes due to coronavirus. This new positive drive is welcome following the worrying stats that currently more than 73% of Black adults are overweight or obese, and every single one of them is at greater risk of becoming seriously ill from diseases including cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Here to help them make healthier choices is Public Health England’s Better Health campaign, which 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.
“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…”
Dr Sandra Isibor, a Nottinghamshire-based GP and obesity and weight loss management specialist, encourages people to use the Better Health resources.
She 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.”
The survey also highlighted the importance of providing culturally compatible campaign guidance and tools for members of the community as 32% of Black adults said finding relevant information and tools to help guide better physical health is a big challenge. PHE are working with (Black) healthcare professionals and other experts to work on this.
Someone who would benefit from this approach is 40-year-old Carl, from Sheffield, who admitted that the coronavirus pandemic created some bad habits. He said: “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.”
Search ‘Better Health’ or visit nhs.uk/betterhealth for free tools and support to start leading a healthier lifestyle today.