Around 3 in 5 adults in the county, 63% of the adult population, live with an increased risk of developing serious diseases such as common cancers, heart disease, and chronic back, because of being overweight.
But shedding excess pounds can reduce these risks, including the chance of becoming seriously ill with Covid, and One You Kent can help residents make it happen.
Teaming up with NHS’ Better Health campaign, the healthy weight service offers lots of free tips and support online at www.kent.gov.uk/healthyweight You can also get information here about local activities such as healthy walks, plus nutritious recipes and the NHS Weight Loss Plan app – which has been proven to help people lose 13lbs (5.8kg) on average over just 12 weeks.
Father and son Jack and Robert Collison, from Broadstairs, lost more than two stones (over 12kg) between them after talking to weight loss advisers from One You Kent.
Jack, 41, wanted to drop some weight in 2020 to improve his health and fitness because of concerns about his asthma and COVID.
Jack Collison said: "I had been trying to lose weight by going to the gym but wasn’t seeing any change. My adviser Teela helped me look at my whole lifestyle. The main thing for me was portion size but there were lots of little tweaks we made that all added up to a bigger difference. The benefit is two years on I am still at my lower weight. Even my wife has lost weight without trying just following the same guidance."
Dad Robert, 78, was inspired by his son to do the same. Robert Collison said: "At my age, it seemed like the sensible thing to do. I’ve lost dear friends and family members sadly from strokes and I wanted to lose a bit of weight to help me stay fit and healthy for as long as possible. I also have some issues with my knees and hips and being a bit lighter helps reduce the pain I get from arthritis."
One You Kent is commissioned by Kent County Council. It is run by Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT) in east Kent, and the district and borough councils in west Kent.
Mark Cummings, from KCHFT, said: "If you’re worried about your weight, One You Kent weight loss support services can offer a 12-week weight management programme run by nutrition and exercise specialists. No fads, no gimmicks, just sensible easy to follow guidelines to help you to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle. Sessions cover subjects such as food labels, portion size and eating out."
“Our ambition is to help Kent residents lose weight, eat better and get active.”
Kent County Council Director of Public Health Dr Anjan Ghosh said: “Our ambition is to help Kent residents lose weight, eat better and get active.
"Better Health and One You Kent have lots of free help and support to get you started, ranging from putting you in touch with a local group, or online self-help including apps, tips and advice such as healthy recipes.
"It really is a case of small changes every day can help people to lose weight and feel healthier."
For more on local One You Kent support services and links to the national Better Health campaign, visit: www.kent.gov.uk/healthyweight.