Over two thirds of people in the West Midlands have vowed to make healthier lifestyle changes in 2021 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent survey.

It also revealed that the impact of the pandemic saw behaviours in the region change last year, with 21% of people saying they snacked on unhealthy food and drinks at least once a day, around a third exercising less in the latter half of the year and 14% saying their alcohol intake increased following the start of the second national lockdown in November.

To support people towards a healthier lifestyle this year, whether it’s losing weight, getting more active, looking after their mental wellbeing, or quitting smoking, Public Health England (PHE) has launched its latest Better Health campaign.

It offers support through a variety of tools and apps, including the updated NHS 12 Week Weight Loss app. 

Dr Lola Abudu, Director for Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England in the West Midlands, said: “With all the stresses and sacrifices everyone dealt with in 2020, it’s not surprising that so many people in the region, and across the country, found themselves falling into bad habits.

"Whether snacking on unhealthy foods, drinking more alcohol, smoking more or doing much less exercise – last year took its toll on both our physical and mental health. The less healthy we are, the less resilience we have to fight off diseases, making us much more vulnerable to conditions like cancer, heart disease, and of course Covid-19."

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "The new year is a time for a new start. We have survived one of the hardest years of our lives, and now it's time to get fighting fit to improve our general physical and mental health and keep us all resilient in the fight against coronavirus. 

"The Better Health campaign is a great way to access support to lose weight, get active, quit smoking and take care of your mind in 2021."

For free tools and support to help make healthy changes, please visit Better Health.

The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at GOV.UK and on the council’s own coronavirus pages. Further details of the lockdown restrictions currently in place, and the answers to frequently asked questions, are available at Covid Alert