The Prime Minister declared last week that Britain needs to be ‘more interventionist’ to tackle obesity, The Times has reported.
This comes after research from a major study in Glasgow finding that obesity (which includes a third of Britons) doubles the risk of needing hospital treatment for coronavirus.
Research from Oxford University also found that the morbidly obese are three times as likely to die of the disease.
It has also emerged that 26% of patients who have died from coronavirus since March 31 have had diabetes, according to NHS England, strongly linked with obesity.
High sugar levels, caused by the condition, weakens immune system defence and makes bodily responses to illnesses slower.
Boris, who weighed 17-and-a-half-stone when admitted to St Thomas’ with coronavirus last month, has a BMI index of 36. Any reading above 30 places someone in the obese category.
The idea of Mr. Johnson taking the fight to obesity may seem surprising to many, given his longstanding opposition to ‘nanny-state’ intervention.
Boris supported mothers pushing pies through school railings in opposition attempts to make their children eat healthier school dinners, and he also protested against booster seats, saying that he and his siblings bounced around the car ‘like peas in a rattle’ in their youth.
More recently, Boris opposed the 2018 sugar tax on soft drinks, squarely disagreeing with current Health Secretary Matt Hancock who described the tax as a ‘total triumph’.
Hancock, as well as other close colleagues of Johnson like Cummings and Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill, have all suffered from coronavirus but seemed to make speedier recoveries than the PM, possibly down to their smaller sizes.
Boris is often photographed jogging or cycling through London and has reportedly lost a stone in weight since his hospital discharge last month.
A fan of cycling, Johnson brought ‘Boris bikes’ to the streets of London as mayor and now sees the revelations about obesity as a chance to ‘get Britain on its bike’, the Daily Mail has reported.
The government is facing increasing difficulties in its handling of the pandemic, with a shortage of personal protective equipment and testing to blame.
This has lead the Department of Health to consider issuing ‘health certificates’ to those who have recovered from the virus, combined with longer restrictions on those yet to test positive.
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