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Boris Johnson will announce a new Government programme which will see GPs prescribe cycling to overweight patients in the new Government war on obesity and Covid-19.
The Prime Minister will roll out the Better Health campaign on Monday following his near-death experience with the disease which he partly blamed on his own weight.
It comes as research reveals that being overweight puts people at higher risk of falling seriously ill or dying from Covid-19.
The new anti-obesity campaign will see a ban on junk food TV ads before 9pm and encouraging doctors to issue “cycling prescriptions” for overweight patients.
It also includes a 12-week weight loss plan to help people stick to healthier eating habits and regular exercise.
Meanwhile the i newspaper reports supermarket deals on snacks such as chocolate and crisps face the axe while the Daily Mail reports restaurants will also have to publish the number of calories in the meals they serve.
A Government spokesperson said: “Covid-19 has given us all a wake-up call of the immediate and long-term risks of being overweight and the prime minister is clear we must use this moment to get healthier, more active and eat better.
“We will be urging the public to use this moment to take stock of how they live their lives, and to take simple steps to lose weight, live healthier lives, and reduce pressure on the NHS.”
The Government estimates that obesity-related conditions cost the NHS more than £6 billion every year.
Approximately two thirds of UK adults currently weigh more than is deemed healthy for their size and height, ministers say.
There were nearly 900,000 obesity related hospital admissions in 2018/19, with obesity a risk factor for chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, some cancers, liver and respiratory disease.
The move comes as Mr Johnson began considering his own weight after he was admitted into intensive care with Covid-19 in April.
The Prime Minister, who believes his own weight was a factor in how his body coped with the disease, hopes to reach around 35 million people through the campaign.
Speaking on Friday, Mr Johnson said he had lost more than a stone since leaving hospital and stressed that obesity is a risk factor when it comes to coronavirus.
During his visit to a London GP surgery, he said: “I’m not normally a believer in nannying or bossing type of politics. But the reality is that obesity is one of the real comorbidity factors.
“Losing weight is frankly one of the ways that you can reduce your own risks from Covid.”
Later, in an interview with the BBC, Mr Johnson said: “One of the lessons I drew from that is the need for us all to be fitter and healthier.
“And if we’re fitter and healthier by the way, we will also be happier.”
Public health bodies have welcomed the curbs on “relentless advertising and promotion of unhealthy food” due to be announced next week.
Caroline Cerny, lead at The Obesity Health Alliance, said: “There is overwhelming evidence that junk food advertising works.
“So when adverts for unhealthy food and drinks dominate prime-time TV and social media, while the nation struggles to maintain a healthy weight, this is a problem.”
Doctors have also welcomed the proposals, but say “firm commitment” is needed for real obesity change.
They highlight that promises have been made before and a “firm and sustained commitment from Government to addr