By Deirdre Tynan • 01 July 2021 • 13:08
The UK has launched a new service to tackle obesity.
The UK has launched a new service, the NHS Digital Weight Management Programme, to tackle obesity, help people achieve a healthier weight and improve wellbeing
Thousands of adults and children will benefit from new services launched across England to help them achieve a healthy weight and boost their wellbeing.
The NHS Digital Weight Management Programme – backed by £12 million of government funding – will offer free online support via GP and primary care teams referrals for adults living with obesity, who also have a diagnosis of either diabetes, high blood pressure or both, to help manage their weight and improve their health.
Alongside this, the government is providing £30 million of new funding to councils across England to roll out expanded management services for adults living with obesity. Services can be delivered face to face, remotely or digitally. With 98 per cent of councils accepting the funding, individuals will be able to sign up for this help via their primary care services or in some areas refer themselves via their local authority.
In most areas, services will include 12-week sessions, with dietary advice, physical activity guidance and support to help people start and maintain healthier habits.
An additional £4.3 million of new funding has also been allocated to 11 local authorities to support the expansion of child weight management services in 2021 to 2022. They will trial new ways to improve access to services for up to 6,000 children identified as living with excess weight or obesity.
Public Health Minister Jo Churchill said, “We want to make the healthier option the easy option, but we still know losing weight can be difficult for people. Making sure the right support is available means that we can help individuals make the most of the positive impact that reaching a healthier weight can have both physically and mentally. The benefit is theirs.
“It’s really important we help people access services that are convenient for them and tailored to their needs. By expanding virtual and face-to-face weight management support across the country, we’re bringing improved health and wellbeing closer to home.
“Our world-leading obesity strategy aims to halve the number of children living with obesity by 2030 through a range of initiatives, including investing in weight management services, restricting the advertising of products high in fat, salt and sugar being shown on TV before 9pm and online, restricting promotions of unhealthy food and drink in retail stores, and introducing calorie labelling in large out-of-home food businesses such as restaurants, cafes and takeaways,” she added.
Obesity is one of the biggest health crises the UK faces. Living with obesity is a major risk for individual’s health and is a leading cause of preventable illness and premature death nationally. Almost two-thirds of adults in England are living with excess weight or obesity, and one in three children leave primary school living with overweight or obesity, with obesity-related illnesses costing the NHS £6 billion a year.
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Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.
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