Launching a massive campaign to fight obesity, the Prime Minister will order generalists to prescribe cycling for weight loss as he attempts to put the nation on a diet.
Some patients will be able to access a bicycle thanks to their doctor’s surgery, and the government will provide more cycle lanes, road curbs and parking for bicycles.
The cycling fanatic Mr Johnson’s ‘bike’ crusade is part of a larger obesity strategy unveiled by the Prime Minister to make the country more active, healthier and better eaten.
Government says overweight makes people catch coronavirus at higher risk of serious and life-threatening illness and requiring intensive care.
« COVID-19[feminine[feminine has given us all a wake-up call about the immediate and long-term risks of being overweight, and the Prime Minister is clear that we must take advantage of this moment to be healthier, more active and eat better, ”said a door -government speech.
“We will be urging the public to take this moment to take stock of how they are living their lives and take simple steps to lose weight, live healthier lives and reduce the pressure on the NHS. ”
A new “Better Health” campaign, offering advice to 35 million people on how to lose weight and keep it off, will be supported by a 12-week plan, which will be seen as an attempt to bring the country to the fore. diet.
Other measures of the government’s anti-obesity crackdown are expected to include:
- Ban on advertising of junk food on television until the end of the 9 p.m. turnaround
- Ban online advertising of unhealthy foods
- Prohibition of free one-on-one promotions on foods such as chocolate and crisps
- Calories published on alcohol bottles and cans and on restaurant and take-out menus
Unveiling the strategy, Mr Johnson is expected to set plans to “drive the biggest change ever in cycling and walking, with a series of commitments to harness the potential of cycling to address some of our most important health and environmental challenges. urgent ”.
The government says cycling is one of the most effective health interventions a person can do and studies have shown that biking to work is linked to a 46% lower risk of heart disease compared to travel by car or public transport.
In areas with poor health and low physical activity rates, the government is planning a pilot program in which general practitioners will be encouraged to prescribe cycling, where appropriate, to patients.
Patients will be able to access bikes through participating surgeries, and there will be separate bike lanes, low traffic neighborhoods, and secure bike parking in areas with high obesity levels to ensure patients can have confidence. on the road.
The Prime Minister’s zeal for helping overweight Britons lose weight stems from his near coronavirus ordeal, which prompted him to warn his colleagues: ‘Don’t be fat in your 50s’.
On Friday, he claimed to have lost “a stone and a bit” since his illness, after stepping up running, swimming and tennis, as well as reducing alcohol and eating fish, chicken and fish. salads.
During last year’s Tory leadership election, Mr Johnson lamented that he put on weight as a result of ‘late night chorizo and cheese frenzy’.
The government estimates that two-thirds (63%) of UK adults are above a healthy weight, with 36% overweight and 28% obesity. One in three children aged 10 to 11 is overweight or obese, and children with obesity are five times more likely to grow up to be obese adults.
The conditions linked to overweight and obesity are estimated to cost the NHS more than £ 6 billion every year. There were nearly 900,000 obesity-related hospitalizations in 2018/19, with obesity being a risk factor for chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, liver and respiratory disease.
NHS weight loss services need to be expanded so more people can get the support they need and the government says it will also look for ways to facilitate referral to specialist support.
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This includes learning from the lessons of tobacco control, where GPs have played a key role in raising the topic and referring patients to quit smoking services.
The NHS has announced that it will accelerate the expansion of its diabetes prevention program to support those most at risk, providing access to high-impact weight loss services for those who need them most.