The government has unveiled a 12-week program to encourage all Britons to become fitter and slimmer, in a move that will see GPs prescribe cycling to help curb obesity, and as part of the Better Health campaign, NHS weight loss services are to be expanded to give people more targeted nutritional direction and make specialist support referrals more accessible.
In a pilot trial, GPs will be prompted to appropriately prescribe cycling to help increase fitness levels, as studies reveal it’s linked to a 46 per cent lower chance of heart disease compared to a non-active commute.
The move comes as Public Health England discovered excess weight put people at higher risk of severe illness or death from coronavirus, following an examination of existing studies.
With more than a third, 36 per cent of UK adults are classified as overweight, and 28 per cent obese, and the proposals are supposed to encourage people to lose weight before a possible second wave of coronavirus hits.
A government spokesperson said that COVID 19 has given us all a wake-up call of the immediate and long term dangers of being overweight and that the Prime Minister is clear we must use this time to get fitter, more mobile and eat healthier.
So, now the Government will be asking the public to use this time to take stock of how we live our lives, urging us to take easy measures to lose weight, live healthier lives, and reduce stress on the NHS.
Boris Johnson has been asked to extend a possible embargo on junk food, and there will now be more television adverts and advertisements, but a new study revealed that this Government appears to be targeting the UK’s most deprived regions.
The findings showed areas with greater levels of childhood obesity had increased exposure to harmful food adverts, and campaigners warned the advertisements could be hampering efforts to beat Britain’s obesity epidemic.
The research, by experts at the University of Liverpool, is thought to be the first of its kind to match the location of public advertisements on regions of social deprivation.
This came on the eve of the Government’s new obesity strategy, which is expected to include a 9 pm watershed for unhealthy food adverts, but campaigners worry this won’t go far enough as the new findings indicate at-risk groups are possibly being targeted within their communities.
The researchers used artificial intelligence to identify over 10,000 adverts across Liverpool using video footage of the city’s streets, over 1,300 of which were for unhealthy food.
The locations were then charted against neighbourhood deprivation statistics using the 2019 English Indices of Deprivation and National Child Measurement Programme data that measures childhood obesity levels.
Unhealthy food adverts were about 60 per cent more prevalent in the most deprived half of the regions analysed, compared to the least deprived half, and they said that they already knew that people living in more deprived regions were more inclined to be living with obesity, and therefore at greater risk of diseases associated with weight.
The study provides compelling new data that points to them being profoundly targeted by junk food companies and may be part of the reason for the obesity disparity they see in the United Kingdom.
Managing junk food advertising is like pressing a balloon – you regulate one space and advertising switches to another channel, so it’s vital the Government considers both broadcast and non-broadcast measures.
The dilemma is that the Tories always seem to find someone else to indict for their ineptitude, and if junk food is not good for us, which we know it isn’t, and the Government seem to want to ban them from the supermarkets, and they’re actually that concerned for us, which they’re not, then they should be troubled about the BBC charging elderly people for TV licences.
And take a glimpse at Boris Johnson, he’s also overweight, perhaps because he has no self-discipline, but numerous other people who are disabled or sick reach obesity because of illness, not because they eat junk food.
But then we can discuss processed food, and I’m not only talking about microwave meals and ready meals.
Not all processed foods are harmful but some processed foods include high levels of salt, sugar and fat. And some foods need to be processed to make them safe, such as milk, which needs to be purified to removed dangerous bacteria.
So, what makes some processed foods less healthy? Well, components such as salt, sugar and fat are sometimes added to processed foods to make their flavour more appealing and to lengthen their shelf life, or in some cases to contribute to the food’s structure, such as salt in bread or sugar in cakes.
And purchasing processed foods can lead to people consuming more than the recommended amounts of sugar, salt and fat as they may not be aware of how much has been added to the food they are buying or eating.
So, there appears to be a pretty simple answer Boris, ban all foods that have been processed, aside from those such as milk or that have to have bacteria taken from them and you will quickly end the obesity era.
He knows that these foods can also be higher in calories due to the large amounts of added sugar or fat in them, and he also knows that we have no control over the amount of salt, sugar and fat we eat because they’re in all our processed foods, but it’s just easier to indict an entire population for being overweight.
Of course, there are other foods such as red meat that can be high in saturated fat, but take the processed foods off the shelves and you would diminish the obesity rate at least a little, and it would certainly take the pressure off the NHS.