Citing his own weight battle, the Prime Minister urges Britain to get in shape

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Boris Johnson used his own fight against weight on Monday to urge the British to get in shape and tackle widespread obesity that could increase coronavirus risks.

FILE PHOTO: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves Downing Street in London, Great Britain on July 22, 2020. REUTERS / Hannah Mckay / File Photo

New government measures to help people lose weight include banning television and online advertisements for junk food before 9 p.m. M., End “buy one get one free” offers on such foods, and mark calories on large restaurant menus, and possibly alcohol too.

Johnson, 56, who has lost more than one stone (6 kg) since a fatal toothbrush with COVID-19, was responding to research showing that obese or overweight people have an increased risk of death or serious illness from the illness. .

The Prime Minister has a reputation as a bon viveur, who in the past has talked about enjoying an expensive bottle of red wine and chorizo ​​and cheese bingeing at night. But he also defended cycling for work and introduced so-called “Boris bikes” in London for public use when he was mayor of the capital.

Last month, Johnson said the British were fatter than most of their European counterparts, apart from Malta, and that his government aimed to “tackle the obesity time bomb.”

“I was too fat”

“I have always wanted to lose weight for centuries and years and, like many people who struggle with my weight, I go up and down. But since I recovered from the coronavirus, I have been constantly improving my physical condition, “he said in a Twitter video on Monday.

“When I entered ICU (intensive care) when I was really sick, I was very overweight … and, you know, I was too fat,” he added, describing his new regimen as a gentle morning run that gives him more energy. during the day.

Johnson, who has often mocked the “babysitting” status, said he hoped the new health campaign was not “overly bossy”, but rather a slight push for Britain to get in shape.

With more than 60% of adults in Britain considered overweight or obese, according to Public Health England, a “Better Health” campaign will be introduced with expanded weight management services at the National Health Service.

The opposition Labor Party said it had heard “big promises” from ruling conservatives before and criticized them for cutting health services in the past.

“An effective obesity strategy needs action, not consultation,” said Labor’s head of health and welfare policy Alex Norris. “Conservatives (conservatives) have cut public health to the bone and people are paying the price for ten years of this complacency.”

Jane Merriman and Andrew Cawthorne edition

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