Modern life makes it all too easy to put on weight. Even a couple of pounds here and there add up over time. Being overweight isn't just about the way we look. It can lead to more aches and pains, problems sleeping and some people report a loss of energy and confidence.
Many people find that if they start to move about a bit more and eat more healthily, they lose a bit of weight and start to feel better, sleep better and have more energy.
To check to see if you and/or your child are a healthy weight for your height/age you can use this BMI healthy weight calculator.
For adults, the calculator will tell you if you are underweight, healthy weight, overweight, obese or very obese. For children, it will tell you if they are underweight, healthy weight, overweight or obese.
If you are in the underweight range, there are a number of possible reasons for this. Your GP can help you find out more and give you help and advice. You can learn more on the NHS Choices website.
If you're in this range, it means you are a healthy weight for your height. However, to stay in good health it's still important to eat a balanced diet and include physical activity in your daily life. Adults should be active for at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) every week. Find out more in benefits of exercise.
Overweight, obese or very obese
If you're in any of these ranges, you're heavier than is healthy for someone of your height. Excess weight puts you at increased risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. It's time to take action. There's lots of information, advice and support on the NHS Choices website that can help you:
Lose weight has information and advice on achieving a healthy weight.
Food and diet contains information and advice on healthy eating.
Health and fitness gives you information on how much exercise to do and how to get fit for free.
You can also talk to your GP or Practice Nurse. They can offer advice on lifestyle changes, and may refer you to a weight loss group or discuss other treatments. Find out more in How your GP can help.
For Blackpool children aged 5 to 11 who are overweight, there is a free weight management programme called Making Changes. Visit the Making Changes website for more information and/or to register for the programme.
Food is essential to life and a major influence on your health and general wellbeing. A balanced, nutritious and safe diet is vital for your physical and mental wellbeing, and protects against many diseases throughout life.
A poor diet is behind many serious illnesses, and is responsible for an increasing proportion of ill health.
The Food and Diet section of the NHS Live Well website has information on all you need to know about food. It includes a whole range of topics, including:
Healthy Start is more than a means-tested voucher scheme for pregnant women and families on low incomes. The site also has tips on healthy eating, information on food safety and some recipes.