Healthy weight is achieved by balancing energy intake from the food we eat with energy expenditure through being physically active.

If you want to achieve or maintain a healthy weight you will need to consider the types and quantity of food that you eat and if these foods are part of a balanced diet. To balance the amount of energy you are taking in from your diet and prevent weight gain, it is important to build physical activity into your daily routine. Information on the recommended levels of physical activity for your age group can be found on the NHS Choices website here.

Risks associated with overweight / obesity

Being overweight or obese can significantly increase the risk of developing ill health. These can include type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, some types of cancer such as breast cancer and bowel cancer, and stroke. Evidence shows that the risk to health increases as BMI increases. For further information on calculating you or your child's BMI see the NHS Choices website here.

Being underweight can also damage your health leading to issues such as a weakened immune system, tiredness and brittle bones. For more information about maintaining a healthy weight as an adult see the NHS Choices website here. If you are concerned about your child being underweight or not growing normally you can access further information here.

Local services

Weight management services for adults

Our public health team has provided grant funding to each of the seven district councils, to provide a lifestyle weight management programme in their area. The programme is available to adults over the age of 18 who have a BMI >25. The programmes across the districts support overweight and obese adults to lose weight and sustain their weight loss. The programmes are tailor made to the needs of participants and are delivered in a supportive environment, once per week, over a 12 week period. The classes are free of charge and residents can gain access to the programme through referral from a care worker, with the addition of a self-referral option for programmes in some districts. The programme offers information and advice on nutrition and includes a physical activity element, with a strong focus on behaviour change towards improving the lifestyle of the individual.

For more information and to find the weight management programme in your area, see the healthy weight and physical activity signposting tool. An exercise referral scheme is also available in North Yorkshire. See the exercise referral scheme page for more details.

Weight management services for children and young people

Healthy Choices is a bespoke family service aimed at 5-19 year olds that fall above a healthy weight (91st centile on the BMI chart - you can check your own BMI using this NHS Choices calculator) and is delivered by a team of healthy lifestyle advisors based across North Yorkshire. The team works with families to make positive, realistic and achievable changes to their lifestyle that are suitable to their individual circumstances.

For more information on the Healthy Choices service in your area, please telephone 01609 798081.

Residential weight management programme for children and young people

MoreLife Camp is a fun, active and educational residential weight-loss programme. Through exercise and lifestyle sessions, children are encouraged to set and monitor their own individual goals. The camp staff specialise in various areas of weight management, from healthy eating, physical education and exercise science, to nutrition and child development. MoreLife Camp is not about dieting. Each child is given a meal plan by a qualified dietician to ensure they are given the right amount of food based on their individual nutritional needs. MoreLife employs a dedicated camp follow-on support officer to work with families to maintain lifestyle change once they have completed the camp programme, regularly speaking with ex-campers, and running informative online seminars for parents. North Yorkshire County Council fund places for 8-19 year olds who live in the county, for more information about the camp please visit their website.

Other useful sources of information

  • One You for tools, support and encouragement to help improve your health right away
  • NHS Choices - information on weight, diet and physical activity
  • Change4Life for ideas and help on how to make small changes that add up to a healthier, happier future for you or your family
  • Our eat well page
  • Our physical activity page

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