New plans to tackle obesity amid ongoing coronavirus crisis

The government will announce fresh plans to tackle the obesity crisis in the UK (file photo) Picture

The government will announce fresh plans to tackle the obesity crisis in the UK (file photo) Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Overweight people are being urged to lose five pounds to reduce pressure on the NHS and lower the risk of dying with Covid-19 as part of ‘ambitious’ government plans to crack down on obesity.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will reveal the government’s obesity strategy later on Monday in a bid to encourage British people to shed the pounds.

The banning of junk food adverts on TV before the 9pm watershed and preventing confectionery from being displayed at store checkouts are some of the moves Mr Johnson is expected to outline.

‘Buy one, get one free’ offers on chocolate and crisps and supermarkets tempting shoppers with unhealthy foods near store entrances are also set to be banned.

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A Public Health England (PHE) study has revealed people classed as medically obese have a 40% increased risk of dying with coronavirus.

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It was revealed last September that more than 3,400 children between the age of two and 16 in Suffolk are ‘severely obese’.

Health secretary and West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock, writing in the Telegraph, said: “If everyone who is overweight lost five pounds it could save the NHS over £100million over the next five years.

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“And more importantly, given the link between obesity and coronavirus, losing weight could be life-saving.”

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE, said: “These plans are ambitious and rightly so. Tackling obesity will help prevent serious illness and save lives.”

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, who grew up in north Essex, hailed the government’s new measures after spending years campaigning against childhood obesity.

He said on Twitter: “Big love to all of you who have supported our campaign. Let’s keep up the momentum so we can offer all kids a healthier and better future.”

MORE: Suffolk Lord attacks ‘revolting’ cereals amid warning obesity is ‘bigger than Covid-19’

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