Govt launches crackdown on obesity

Boris to set out the details of his plan to tackle the nation’s obesity crisis

Time in intensive care seems to have changed the tune of our outspokenly libertarian PM. Later today, Boris will set out the details of his plan to tackle the nation’s obesity crisis, following the wake-up call from the pandemic. By Michael Delaney.

The rumoured rules

➡️ Not suitable for younger viewers – junk food adverts will be banned on TV before the 9pm watershed.

➡️ Bugger off BOGOF – it is expected that shops will no longer be able to promote special offers on unhealthy food. It’s also rumoured that they will be banned from stocking those tempting impulse-buy chocolates by the check out.

➡️ Calorie counting – food companies that employ more than 250 people will be required to list out the calorie content of their meals on menus, so you’ll know just how cheeky that Nandos is.

The reaction

There has been pressure for adverts online to also be banned, however, this is expected to happen only after a consultation has taken place (whenever that might be).

Sue Eustace, director of public affairs at the Advertising Association, has voiced her scepticism over the initiative: “We have some of the strictest (advertising) rules in the world already and children’s exposure to high fat, salt, and sugar adverts on TV has fallen by 70% over the last 15 years or so, but there’s been no change to obesity, so we don’t think these measures are going to work.”

I thought we were helping out by eating out?

Some critics have suggested that the chancellors “eat out to help out” scheme could contradict the PM’s fight against the fat.

Large fast food chains are in prime position to take advantage of the treasury’s foodie-fiscal stimulus. But I wouldn’t dare excuse this government for providing mixed messaging (ahem, going to work, face masks).

On your Boris bike

Eating healthy and regular exercise go hand in hand when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight.

It is expected that GPs are going to be given more options to prescribe activities, such as cycling, to help us shed those extra pounds.

The new measures will be accompanied by expanded weight management services from the NHS – including online tools and “healthy weight coaches” to support patients – and a national campaign to help people lose weight and eat more healthily after the “wake-up call” of coronavirus.

How to get involved

The NHS has launched its own app and online plan to get you eating and moving right, which you can find here.

Got any further thoughts on the government’s initiative? Share your views.