Have you put on weight during lockdown? You’re certainly not alone! Almost half of Brits say they’ve put on weight since lockdown began, with more than 16% of us gaining five pounds or more in the first six weeks, according to researchi.
Obesity is one of the biggest long-term health challenges we face together. Almost two-thirds (63%) of adults in England are overweight or living with obesity, and one in three children leave primary school either overweight or obese, with obesity-related illnesses costing the NHS £6 billion a yearii.
According to latest reports, children living in parts of Hull are amongst the highest risk. This trend that can be linked in part to deprivation as well as the poverty being felt by families who may be struggling to buy healthy food.
Being overweight is known to be a factor in a number of illnesses, including heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes. In the past few months it’s also been noted that excess weight puts individuals at risk of worse outcomes from coronavirus (COVID-19).
To add to the problem, being overweight can also affect your oral health. Eating unhealthy foods, which cause weight gain, can also lead to tooth decay and/or cavities, especially in children, and increase the likelihood of developing gum disease.
The ‘Better Health’ campaign
In the face of these statistics the government has recently unveiled a new obesity strategy, to get the nation fit and healthy, to protect ourselves against COVID-19 and protect the NHS.
The strategy includes banning junk food advertising before 9pm, putting an end to buy-one-get-one-free deals on unhealthy foods and enforcing a ban on placing confectionery at shop and supermarket checkouts. The move has been welcomed by health groups and campaigners and here at 543 Dental Centre we hope it will have a positive effect on dental health too.
This strategy has been launched alongside a new ‘Better Health’ campaign, led by Public Health England, which is aimed at helping people embrace a healthier lifestyle, supported by a range of apps and practical advice on how to reduce our waistlines.
Look after your oral health
Looking after your general health should also include your dental health. The COVID-19 pandemic has meant unfortunate delays in dental care for many families. At 543 Dental Centre we are gradually getting our services back to something close to normal but currently, along with the majority of dental practices, we’re unable to offer routine hygiene appointments. However, you can make sure your teeth and gums are cared for by creating a home hygiene regime. This is quite simple and only takes a few minutes each day. Simply make time to brush your teeth twice a day and use a fluoride toothpaste. You should also try to add the use of dental floss or TePe interdental brushes into your routine and of course avoid sugary foods and drinks which can lead to decay – and weight gain! Of course, regular professional hygiene treatment is important to maintaining dental health and we will be offering this again as soon as practicable. In the meantime, please feel free to call the practice if you have any concerns, as the Oral Health Nurses we have at the practice are available to offer telephone advice on tooth brushing and how to keep your mouth healthy.
Always remember that your oral health is connected to your overall health and a healthy mouth will help to create a healthy body. If you keep fit – you can be dentally fit!
For more information about how 543 Dental Centre is working within professional guidelines to ensure our patients’ safety, and what to expect when you come in to visit us, please click here. But remember – PLEASE DO NOT ATTEND THE PRACTICE WITHOUT AN APPOINTMENT!
We really appreciate your patience and cooperation.
i Research by the 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan