Healthier Lifestyle Choices Could Help You Fight COVID-19

25 January 2021 9:41am

NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are supporting the Government’s Better Health campaign, which is encouraging millions of adults to kick-start their health and reduce their risk of serious illness, including COVID-19.

Quitting smoking, drinking less alcohol, getting physically active, losing weight and looking after your mental health are some of the many changes you can make to maintain a healthy lifestyle and look after your mental wellbeing.

The Better Health campaign is one of the measures that make up the government’s Obesity Strategy. People who are obese are significantly more likely to become seriously ill with COVID-19 compared to those with a healthy body mass index (BMI). BMI is a measure of whether you have a healthy weight for your height. Use the NHS BMI healthy weight calculator at www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/bmi-calculator/ to find out your score.

Having a BMI of 35-40 could increase your chances of dying from COVID-19 by 40 per cent, while a BMI greater than 40 could increase the risk by 90 per cent.

According to figures from Public Health England, 72 per cent of adults in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin were categorised as overweight or obese in 2018-19, the latest period for which data is available. This was amongst the highest proportions in the country, with the national average at 62 per cent. It was also above the average of 66 per cent across the West Midlands.

Dr Julian Povey, Joint Chair of Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin CCGs, said: “We want to support our residents to make healthy lifestyle changes. The Better Health Campaign will help address the lifestyle issues many of our patients face and, as a result, improve people’s physical and mental health.

“We want to encourage residents to quit smoking, lose weight and get healthier to help improve their overall wellbeing.”

For advice, tips and tools to help you make the best choices about your health and wellbeing including diet and exercise, visit NHS Live Well and NHS Better Health on the NHS website. You can also download the free NHS weight loss app.