29 Jul

Prime Minister reveals plans to boost health and reduce obesity risks

The Prime Minister has revealed plans to tackle the UK’s obesity crisis, including banning junk food advertising before 9pm and putting an end to buy-one-get-one-free deals on unhealthy foods, such as confectionary.

There were already plans in place to reduce rates of obesity among children and adults in the UK, but the Prime Minister has stepped up the campaign to improve health and wellbeing in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis. Boris Johnson admitted that he himself had struggled to lose weight in the past and said that he was very overweight when he was admitted to intensive care after contracting the virus. Since his hospital stay, the Prime Minister has lost over a stone, and he is encouraging the nation to embrace healthier lifestyles to protect the NHS and boost wellbeing.

News of the measures has been welcomed by health groups and campaigners, and it is hoped that the initiatives will have positive knock-on effects on dental health and rates of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Obesity elevates the risk of cardiovascular complications and type 2 diabetes, and a poor diet is the most common risk factor for decay and gum disease. 

Speaking to reporters, Mr Johnson said that he was keen to help people to make healthier choices, and he made it clear that he didn’t want to be forceful or create a ‘nanny state.’ In addition to banning BOGOF offers on unhealthy foods and ending junk food advertising before the watershed, the government is also enforcing a ban on sweets and other unhealthy products at shop and supermarket checkouts and asking large restaurant chains to display calories on menus. The NHS is also expanding its weight management programme to provide additional online resources and access to professional help and advice.