Home >Science >Health >'I was too fat': PM Boris Johnson urges Britain to get fit
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, left, elbow bumps Lead Nurse Marina Marquis, during a visit to Tollgate Medical Centre (AP)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, left, elbow bumps Lead Nurse Marina Marquis, during a visit to Tollgate Medical Centre (AP)

'I was too fat': PM Boris Johnson urges Britain to get fit

  • Britain today unveiled plans to tackle an 'obesity time bomb'
  • Last month, he said Britain was fatter than most European countries

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged Britain to lose "a little bit of weight", citing his own struggle with his weight before he contracted the novel coronavirus. Johnson, who has lost weight since he was in intensive care with COVID-19, wants to tackle obesity after research showed those who are obese or overweight are at increased risk of death or severe illness from the coronavirus.

"I've always wanted to lose weight for ages and ages and like many people I struggle with my weight, I go up and down. But since I recovered from coronavirus I have been steadily building up my fitness," he said in a video clip on Twitter.

"I'm at least a stone down, I'm more than a stone down but when I went into ICU (intensive care) when I was really ill, I was way over weight ... and, you know, I was too fat," he said, adding that he hoped the new campaign was not "excessively bossy or nannying".

Britain today unveiled plans to tackle an "obesity time bomb" banning TV and online adverts for junk food before 9.00 p.m., ending "buy one get one free" deals on such foods and putting calories on menus.

Last month, he said Britain was fatter than most European countries apart from Malta and his government described "tackling the obesity time bomb" as a priority.

Alongside the ban on adverts before 9.00 p.m. (2000 GMT), on food deals and plans for the calorific content of meals to be displayed on menus, the government will also launch a consultation on displaying calories on alcohol.

With more than 60% of adults in Britain considered overweight or obese, according to Public Health England, the coronavirus crisis has put the obesity issue at the forefront of the government's thinking, with a "Better Health" campaign being launched alongside the new measures.

Weight management services will be expanded in the NHS, and Public Health England will call on people to embrace a healthier lifestyle and to lose weight if they need to, supported by a range of evidence-based tools and apps.

"Everyone knows how hard losing weight can be so we are taking bold action to help everyone who needs it," health minister Matt Hancock said.

"To help support people we need to reduce unhelpful influences like promotions and adverts that affect what you buy and what you eat. Taken together, supported by an inspiring campaign and new smart tools, will get the country eating healthily and losing the pounds." (With Agency Inputs)

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