DOCTORS will be able to refer overweight patients to Weight Watchers and Slimming World to help tackle the obesity crisis.
Boris Johnson is urging Brits to lose weight and get fit to take pressure of the NHS ahead of a potential second Covid wave this winter.
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Today he announced the Government would help people to shed the pounds as part of its new “Better Health” campaign.
The new programme offers health tips and advice, as well as discounts and incentives for people to sign up to weight loss management services.
It includes a free NHS weight loss plan – a 12 week programme to help people manage their weight loss journey.
The service also points patients to other ways to lose weight, such as Weight Watchers, Slimming World and GetSlim.
Under the new programme the government is set to offer Brits one month free with a three month plan.
Most people will lose around 1/2lbs a week on the plan but results may vary.
The WW programme is clinically-proven to support weight loss and improvement in blood sugar control in those diagnosed with pre-diabetes.
As well as helping members lose weight, WW helps people change their habits to make healthy eating and physical activity a part of their daily lives.
Previously doctors had been able to refer patients who needed to lose weight to the Weight Watchers (WW) scheme if they are at risk of type 2 diabetes.
People who had been referred received nine months at a subsidised rate.
The NHS 12-step plan to help you lose weight
FROM faddy diets to dodgy detoxes – most of us have heard it all before when it comes to weight loss.
But burning fat can be easy and mostly free.
In fact, the NHS has a whole load of medically-approved tips for weight loss and shedding body fat once and for all…
- Don’t skip breakfast
Skipping breakfast will not help you lose weight. You could miss out on essential nutrients and you may end up snacking more throughout the day because you feel hungry.
- Eat regular meals
Eating at regular times during the day helps burn calories at a faster rate. It also reduces the temptation to snack on foods high in fat and sugar.
- Eat plenty of fruit and veg
Fruit and veg are low in calories and fat, and high in fibre – 3 essential ingredients for successful weight loss. They also contain plenty of vitamins and minerals.
- Get more active
Being active is key to losing weight and keeping it off. As well as providing lots of health benefits, exercise can help burn off the excess calories you cannot lose through diet alone.
- Drink lots of water
People sometimes confuse thirst with hunger. You can end up consuming extra calories when a glass of water is really what you need.
- Eat high fibre foods
Foods containing lots of fibre can help keep you feeling full, which is perfect for losing weight. Fibre is only found in food from plants, such as fruit and veg, oats, wholegrain bread, brown rice and pasta, and beans, peas and lentils.
- Read food labels
Knowing how to read food labels can help you choose healthier options. Use the calorie information to work out how a particular food fits into your daily calorie allowance on the weight loss plan.
- Use a smaller plate
Using smaller plates can help you eat smaller portions. By using smaller plates and bowls, you may be able to gradually get used to eating smaller portions without going hungry. It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to tell the brain it’s full, so eat slowly and stop eating before you feel full.
- Don’t ban foods
Do not ban any foods from your weight loss plan, especially the ones you like. Banning foods will only make you crave them more. There’s no reason you cannot enjoy the occasional treat as long as you stay within your daily calorie allowance.
- Don’t stock junk food
To avoid temptation, do not stock junk food – such as chocolate, biscuits, crisps and sweet fizzy drinks – at home. Instead, opt for healthy snacks, such as fruit, unsalted rice cakes, oat cakes, unsalted or unsweetened popcorn, and fruit juice.
- Cut down on alcohol
A standard glass of wine can contain as many calories as a piece of chocolate. Over time, drinking too much can easily contribute to weight gain.
- Plan your meals
Try to plan your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the week, making sure you stick to your calorie allowance. You may find it helpful to make a weekly shopping list.
The new Better Health scheme means that this option is open to all.
Public Health England (PHE) has also teamed up with Slimming World, with a deal that offers new members can get £20 off with a three-month membership.
The website states: “Slimming World is working in partnership with Public Health England to seize the opportunity for a national reset moment, kickstarting a commitment to a healthier way of life following Covid-19 lockdown.”
The offer is valid from today until August 29.
Another programme also on offer under the government’s new scheme is GetSlim.
If you can get your weight down a bit then, and protect your health then you’ll also be protecting the NHS
Prime Minister Boris Johnson
This is the cheapest offering of all the plans and new members can sign up from just 86p a week.
GetSlim is an app which includes healthy recipes and support for people starting out on their weight loss journey.
It comes after various studies have flagged obesity as one of the major risk factors for severe Covid-19 and death from the disease.
Mr Johnson has suggested the severe symptoms he endured were partly down to his weight.
The PM weighed 17 stone 7lbs when he was admitted to St Thomas’ Hospital in London with the virus in April and is understood to have lost at least a stone since recovering.
This morning he said: “When I went into ICU, when I was really ill, I was way overweight.
“I’m only about 5 foot 10, and you know, at the outside, and you know I was too fat.”
He said: “There are amazing things you get on your phones these days, amazing apps, fantastic trainers that you can watch on Youtube.
“If you can get your weight down a bit then, and protect your health then you’ll also be protecting the NHS.
“What we are doing now with our Better Health Strategy is just trying to help people a little bit to bring their weight down.”
Meanwhile health secretary Matt Hancock said that if every Brits lost 5lbs then it could save the NHS £100 billion.
Mr Hancock has today declared coronavirus a “deadly wake-up call” for Britain to finally deal with the obesity epidemic.
Mr Hancock explained being overweight put enormous pressure on the NHS, and getting fitter could boost the nation’s health and finances.
Papers published by NHS England in May state that there were 876,000 hospital admissions with obesity as a factor over the last year.
It also found that 67 per cent of men were overweight or obese along with 60 per cent of women.
Shockingly the statistics also showed that 20 per cent of year 6 children are classed as obese.
As well as this obesity has also been flagged as one of the main risk factors for Covid-19.
Researchers previously found that people who are obese have a 37 per cent higher risk of dying.