Obesity Prevention

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Let's talk about obesity

Helping our population live well is one of the key priorities of the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) Health and Care Partnership.

The NHS estimates around 1 in every 4 adults and around 1 in every 5 children aged 10-11 are living with obesity.

In Luton, childhood obesity rates are twice as high in the most deprived 10% of children, compared to the least deprived. For help and advice regarding a healthy diet and exercise for children and young people, visit our Healthier Together website.

People living with type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, some types of cancer and stroke have an increased risk of living with obesity. It can increase your risk of developing serious health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, osteoarthritis and more. It can also affect your quality of life and contribute to mental health problems.

For health-related information about obesity, its causes, diagnosis and treatment, visit the NHS website.

All our partners across the NHS, local authorities, schools and workplaces have a role to play in helping people increase physical activity and make dietary improvements to help prevent or reduce obesity.

The best way to prevent obesity is to eat a healthy reduced-calorie diet and exercise regularly. Below are some ways you can help prevent obesity.

Eating healthy

A balanced diet which includes vegetables, fruit, pulses and whole grains is good for your health and can reduce the risk of obesity. Your GP can advise about how to manage and lose weight safely.

Local authorities and the NHS offer local weight loss groups. Your GP may refer you to a local active health team for a number of sessions under the supervision of a qualified trainer.

For free local weight management support visit more-life.co.uk for Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes’ residents, and totalwellbeingluton.org for Luton residents who want to improve their physical and emotional health.

Visit the NHS website for more information about managing your weight and find local weight loss support groups by using the NHS search tool.


Physical activity can help you lose weight and boost your self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as lower your risk of other health conditions such as osteoarthritis, heart disease and stroke.

The easiest way to start increasing your activity is to start walking. Even a 10-minute brisk daily walk has lots of health benefits. Check out the NHS Better Health website for advice about getting active. The website includes information about:

The free NHS Active 10 App which tracks your steps and helps you set goals.

The free NHS Couch to 5K running plan consists of podcasts over the course of 9 weeks and has been designed for absolute beginners.

For inspiration to stay active while at home check out the British Heart Foundation’s Heart Matters magazine webpage.

We Are Undefeatable supports people with a range of long-term health conditions be more active. It has been developed by 15 health and social care charities.

Adults who use wheelchairs may find it harder to lose weight, but the NHS has advice for how to get active in a wheelchair.

Within our region there are lots of green spaces where you can walk or run and organisations that can support you with exercise.


For wellbeing walks in Bedford visit the Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity website.

For Ramblers’ wellbeing walks in Bedford, visit the Ramblers website.

Live Longer Better, Bedford offers a range of physical activity sessions aimed at people aged 60 and over at venues across Bedford.

Find local sporting events and activities by searching the Council website.

Central Bedfordshire

For wellbeing walks in Central Bedfordshire visit the Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity website.

For health and wellbeing kiosks and wider Active Lifestyle offer visit the Central Bedfordshire Council website.

Find local sporting events and activities by searching the Council website.


For Ramblers’ wellbeing walks in Luton visit the Rambler’s website.

The Active Luton website provides a range of information about getting active including links to gyms, swimming pools, golf, group fitness and activities for older people.

Free health checks are available through the Health Stations across Luton.

Find local sporting events and activities by searching the Council website.

Milton Keynes

For wellbeing walks in Milton Keynes, visit the Ramblers website.

For women’s walking football for people aged 55+, visit the Age UK website.

Fit Fans is a free health programme for men and women aged 35-65 who are looking to lose weight, get fitter and lead a more active life.

Leap is a social enterprise to improve the lives of residents in Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire through regular movement, physical activity and sprot. Visit the Leap With Us website.

Find local sporting events and activities by searching the Council website.

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