Changing the conversation about health

A new you in 2022? Government launches NHS-backed Better Health initiative to tackle UK obesity

People are being encouraged to use the new year to adapt healthier eating and exercise habits by Government health officials.

More than 60 per cent of people in the UK are considered overweight, with 28 per cent of adults defined as obese, raising the risk of developing heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

The Better Health initiative, which is supported by the NHS and backed by The Department of Health, highlights six benefits to losing weight and doing more exercise, while also focusing on how preventing future health conditions can help ease the strain on the country’s healthcare services.

A healthier you? The Government’s Better Health initiative, supported by the NHS, encourages people to make lifestyle changes to improve health


The scheme is offering discounts on gym memberships and weight-loss groups such as Slimming World and Weight Watchers.

The Minister for Public Health, Maggie Throup, said of the new campaign: ‘The Better Health campaign returns today, focusing on improving adults’ health and helping them get to a healthier weight.

‘I hope that people can use this as a kick-start moment to be more active and eat more healthily, especially when losing body weight can have such a positive impact on our health, including reducing the chance of becoming seriously ill with Covid-19.’

Exercise guidelines in the UK recommend that people should partake in at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly – around 20 to 30 minutes a day – and the new initiative encourages active hobbies including gardening, and using a standing desk while working.

The Better Health scheme is offering discounts on gym memberships and weight loss classes (Photo: Pixabay/Stevepb)

Advice on the Better Health website says: ‘No matter how much you do, physical activity is good for your body and mind. Adults should aim to be active every day. Some is good – more is better still. 

‘A daily brisk walk can boost your energy, lift your mood and make everyday activities easier.’

Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy, deputy chief medical officer, said: ‘The New Year is a great time to make some healthy changes.

‘The Better Health campaign outlines the health benefits of losing weight and gives people the tools and resources to make small changes to improve their health.’