Tackle obesity and stay active during COVID-19 for Better Health

The new Better Health campaign, unveiled by the government as part of their Obesity Strategy, is encouraging adults to adopt healthy lifestyle changes.
better health campaign

This includes a new app for the free 12-week NHS Weight Loss Plan, helping people make healthier food choices and learn skills to prevent weight gain.

The Campaign

Although being overweight will not increase people's chances of contracting the coronavirus, data shows that obese people are much more likely to become seriously ill and be admitted to intensive care with COVID-19 compared to those with a healthy BMI (Body Mass Index).

Find out your own BMI using the NHS's BMI calculator 

Research shows that over half the population has found it difficult to stay healthy during the COVID-19 lockdown, struggling to make daily healthy choices. As well as maintaining an active lifestyle with regular daily exercise, it's crucial to also improve your diet, as many people are consuming more calories than they need to.



Nearly two thirds (63%) of adults in the UK are overweight or living with obesity. Gaining weight is often a gradual process that takes place over a number of years and modern life doesn’t always make it easy. This extra weight causes pressure to build up around vital organs, making it harder for the body to fight against diseases like cancer, heart disease and now COVID-19.

Resources in Wigan & Leigh

If you're hoping to increase your activity levels as a Wigan & Leigh resident, the Council has promised to make a number of improvements to walking and cycling routes, making it easier and safer to get out and about. If you'd like to see an interactive map of comments made by residents on street and road safety in the Wigan Borough, click here.

There are many areas in Wigan that are great for exercise such as walking, running, and cycling, such as Mesnes Park (which offers basketball hoops and tennis nets) and Haigh Woodland Park, as well as various canal routes.

Additionally, the Wigan Life Leisure Centre remains open despite local COVID-19 restrictions, offering a number of in-person and virtual fitness and wellbeing sessions, gym equipment, etc. 

Maintaining a healthy diet and making healthy food choices can be made whenever and wherever you are, using resources from the Better Health campaign to make informed decisions. 

Here are some top tips from the Council:

  • Everyone says it, but breakfast is the most important meal of the day so don’t skip it! It will stop you snacking mid-morning.
  • Try to eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. One portion is about a handful. Fresh, frozen, chilled, canned, 100% juice and dried fruit and vegetables all count! Even a glass of fresh orange juice counts as one! Smoothies are a great way of combining 2 or more fruits - but will only count as one of your five a day.
  • Try to have potatoes or food like pasta, bread, rice or cereal with each meal. These help to fill you up and are low in fat.
  • Swapping a sugary snack for portions of a sweet fruit can help.
  • Try not to add salt to your food – we should all try to reduce our salt intake!
  • Drink lots of water – try to drink at least 6-8 glasses a day.
  • Try to eat more fish, it's really good for you and cheaper than you think!
  • Keep your drinking to a minimum. It is recommended that you drink a maximum of 14 units per week for men and women, with several alcohol free days per week.

For more information on the Better Health campaign, please click here.

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