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Weight loss and COVID-19

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Published: 5 August 2020

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With more understanding of the Coronavirus, researchers are learning what factors increase the risk to patients. One of those things, obesity, is something that we can all tackle with small, sensible changes to our lifestyles. 

Health and Wellbeing Manager Nancy Bradley discusses how we can reach a healthy weight and live better lives.

Being overweight has been shown to increase the risk of illness or death from COVID-19. 

It’s worth taking some time to think about our own weight and if we need to act now to stay healthy.

According to the NHS, we should aim to have a BMI (or Body Mass Index) of 18.5 to 25, with anything more or less than this thought of as unhealthy.

People with a BMI of 30 or more are considered to be obese. 

You can work out your BMI by dividing your weight by the square of your height - or use the NHS’s BMI calculator.

If you’re worried about your weight there are plenty of things you can do about it.

But if you’re thinking about any major change to your diet, or you have a lasting health condition, make sure you speak to your GP first.

Set achievable goals 

Whatever method you choose for losing weight, make sure your targets are specific and measurable. 

Just saying you want to be slimmer might not be good for you and doesn’t give you much to go on.

Instead, think about exactly what you’re aiming for and how long you want to take getting there.

Realistic changes

How you go about losing weight needs to be achievable. 

If you start off drinking only smoothies and exercising five hours a day, you’re going to find it difficult to stick to. 

And let’s face it, that sounds pretty boring too.

Swapping food

Finding healthier options to the food you love can help you stick with your diet.

For example, if you like chocolate try switching to dark chocolate instead. 

It’s known to have a number of health benefits, including helping reduce the risk of heart disease, and has a lot less sugar.

Exercise is also important not only for our physical health but our mental health too.

What that means is different for everyone. Don’t forget, short walks still count.”

If you would like to talk to the Health and Wellbeing team about any of the issues raised in this article, you can set up a one-to-one meeting with them at or call them on 0207 531 7343.

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