U.K.’s New Coronavirus Tactic: Urge Britons to Lose Weight

LONDON — Britain will crack down on junk meals promoting and introduce calorie counts on menus in an effort to deal with weight problems and ease the strain on the nation’s National Health Service amid the coronavirus pandemic, the federal government stated on Monday.

For the British prime minister, Boris Johnson, the intersection of weight problems and the coronavirus is private. Mr. Johnson was, by his personal admission, “way overweight” when he was admitted to the hospital after turning into unwell with Covid-19 this yr, and his well being deteriorated to such an extent that at one level he wanted intensive care.

Studies have linked weight problems to a higher threat of great sickness or dying from Covid-19, and Mr. Johnson, writing within the British newspaper The Daily Express, described his time in hospital as a “wake-up call.”

“We all put things off — I know I have,” Mr. Johnson wrote. “I’ve wanted to lose weight for ages, and like many people I struggle with my weight.”

More than 45,000 individuals in Britain have died from the coronavirus. Nearly eight p.c of Covid-19 sufferers in intensive care models have been morbidly overweight, the British authorities stated, although morbidly overweight individuals account for under 2.9 p.c of the overall inhabitants.

Mr. Johnson stated in a video posted on Twitter on Monday that he had misplaced greater than 14 kilos since his time within the hospital.

The Daily Telegraph, a British newspaper, reported that the prime minister weighed 245 kilos when he was hospitalized in April. Even together with his current slimming, Mr. Johnson, who’s about 5 ft 10 inches tall, would nonetheless rank as overweight, in accordance to an N.H.S. calculator, although the prime minister stated he had solely simply began concentrating on constructing his health and shedding weight.

The wide-ranging measures introduced on Monday are a change in tack for Mr. Johnson, who final yr described a levy on sugary drinks as “sin stealth taxes” and warned of the “continuing creep of the nanny state.”

Professor Parveen Kumar, a spokeswoman for the British Medical Association, which represents docs, stated in an announcement on Monday that the technique “could go a long way in kick-starting a health revolution for the nation.”

But the measures didn’t obtain such a heat welcome from the meals and retail trade. Tim Rycroft, the chief working officer on the Food and Drink Federation, a gaggle representing producers within the sector, known as the plans a “punishing blow” for firms that had been “heralded by government for feeding the nation during the Covid crisis.”

The federation stated that, whereas it supported the federal government’s push for Britain to grow to be more healthy, the proposed insurance policies had been proven to be ineffective and would serve solely to elevate costs.

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