Yesterday the UK prime minister Boris Johnson announced that he will be bringing in a range of new measures that are designed to encourage the country's population to lose weight and get healthier.
The announcement is part of Downing Street's "biggest initiative" yet in the fight against obesity.
The nation-wide health kick was introduced after research was published highlighting that the risk of death from the respiratory disease doubles if the infected person is obese. Currently, 36 per cent and 28 per cent of UK adults are classed as overweight or obese (respectively), meaning that up to a third of the country's population could be at risk if broader health measures are not introduced.
"Covid-19 has given us all a wake-up call [on] 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," explained a government spokesperson. "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 evidence is in: obesity can double your chance of dying from coronavirus," said Sir Simon Stevens, NHS England CEO. "So this pandemic is a call to arms to change what we eat and how we exercise."
The new plan, launched in emergency protocols, is designed to target junk food advertising, limit buy-one-get-one-free offers in supermarkets and a ban on impulse buys for sweets and chocolates at the checkout. Similarly, GPs will be participating in bicycle schemes to make cycling cheaper, easier and safer. (Continued below)
Just part of the new measures that Boris Johnson has announced, others include:
"Buy one get one free" offers will be barred in supermarkets and shops to stop the temptation for snacking on unhealthy products.
Restaurants and takeaway vendors with more than 250 total employees will, by legislation, be required to add calorie labels to their menus to help customers make informed choices.
Evidence is to be gathered on the 'traffic light' labelling barometer system for food, and how it's being used by consumers to aid weight-loss and a healthy lifestyle.
Junk food adverts will be banned before the 9pm 'watershed' and internet advertising restrictions could be harsher, with rumours of a total ban on advertising food high in fat, sugar or salt.
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