New Government Plans are Aimed at Tackling the Obesity Crisis

New Government Plans are Aimed at Tackling the Obesity Crisis

Covid-19 has made everyone much more conscious about their health. The latest scientific evidence has found a strong link between obesity and an increased risk of catching the virus, falling critically ill or even dying from it. Government statistics have shown that of those critically ill patients in intensive care, 8% were classed as morbidly obese.

Coupled with his own experiences of Covid-19, it’s shocking data such as this which seems to have spurred Prime Minister Boris Johnson into action. Following his brush with death in an intensive care unit, Mr Johnson claims to have lost a stone in weight and is now encouraging the rest of the country to follow suit.

What measures could be taken?

Announcing a ‘Better Health’ campaign on Monday 27th July, the government has laid down a wide range of proposals to encourage people to lose weight. One proposal is a ban on junk food adverts before the 9 pm watershed, with consultations on scrapping online ads entirely. There will also be a review of the traffic light system on food and drink sold in shops, with the aim of educating people about the calorie, sugar, salt and fat content of their food.

There are also consultations to take place on whether calorie labelling on alcohol should be made mandatory, bringing it into line with the food labelling system already in place. GPs will also be encouraged to ‘prescribe’ exercise, with exercise-on-referral seen as one of the best ways to encourage weight loss. As part of the Better Health campaign, the NHS has launched an app which guides users through a 12-week long weight-loss plan to encourage healthier eating and a better fitness routine.

Will it work?

While the announcement has been broadly welcomed, some have said it is just the start and more could be done. The proposals have, however, put fitness back on the public agenda in a way which it hasn’t been for many years. Because of the link between Covid-19 and obesity, attention has been concentrated on the fact that around two-thirds of adults in the UK are classed as overweight or obese and are therefore at higher risk.

With one of the worst death rates in the world, it seems the UK government has finally woken up to the sheer scale of the country’s ‘obesity epidemic’ and the health implications for millions of people. They will be hoping the combination of the Better Health campaign, advertising bans, calorie labelling and prescribed exercise will be enough to get the country slimming down for good.

How we can help

One of the main obstacles people face in the battle to get fit is finding the time and opportunities to work out. We specialise in health and fitness in the workplace, affording people those opportunities. If you’d like to discuss the services we can provide, simply get in touch today.