Daily Express

COMMENT

- STEVE POWIS NHS Medical director

FUNDING to tackle obesity and help hundreds of thousands of people lose weight is a win-win.

It will help people lead healthier lives, as well as ease pressures on NHS services.

The stats are stark, but sadly true – almost two-thirds of adults in England are overweight or obese – and one in three children leave primary school having piled on too many pounds.

Research has also shown people with obesity are 113 per cent more likely to be admitted to hospital with coronaviru­s and 74 per cent more likely to need intensive care treatment.

That situation isn’t sustainabl­e in the long term, with obesityrel­ated illnesses already costing the NHS billions each year.

With lockdowns during the past year, many of us have shied away from exercise, which is why it’s important we all take responsibi­lity to look after our health. But you are not alone as

you try to fight the flab – the NHS is there to help. And the latest move is another weapon in our armoury against obesity.

The Daily Express has covered extensivel­y the NHS’s battle against the bulge – and readers will not be surprised that the health service is continuing to pull out all the stops to end the obesity endemic.

More than half a million people have been referred into our world-leading diabetes prevention programme – a revolution­ary programme that has already helped people lose an incredible 185,000 kilos – the weight of 43 ambulances.

And just last September, the NHS started offering a lowcalorie soup and shake diet, which has been proven effective in helping people lose weight.

The diet will help many transform their lives, with a view to a wider rollout on the NHS. The success of the weight loss programme is in part due to the advantages of having a National Health Service.

The ability to rollout programmes like this would not have been possible without a health service that was establishe­d as, and remains, a truly national institutio­n.

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