According to new research calling for a far more wide-ranging response to the obesity problem, Boris Johnson’s plea to Britons to slim down in response to the pandemic hasn’t helped most people lose weight.
Warnings about the possible added risks COVID 19 poses to people with obesity are essentially futile, the study uncovered.
It said ministers put too much focus on individual willpower and not enough on the environmental and economic factors of obesity.
A Social Market Foundation (SMF) study said bigger barriers must be tackled, such as food deserts, and that areas of more than a million people where deprivation, poor transportation and a shortage of supermarkets restrict access to affordable fruits and vegetables.
A survey conducted for SMF discovered that only 28 per cent of people who describe themselves as living with obesity said they were taking measures to lose weight because of the pandemic.
The think tank found that while this was higher than the 20 per cent of the general population taking measures to lose weight, it still demonstrated that Government messages on overweight and COVID have done little to assist people with obesity manage their condition.
Meanwhile, 37 per cent of those living with obesity said they haven’t yet taken measures to lose weight, but are considering doing so.
Almost three in 10 (28 per cent) said the COVID situation would not lead them to lose weight.
There’s now a clear link between obesity and the risk of a severe response to COVID.
It raises the risk of dying from the infection by about 50 per cent and may make vaccines less effective, according to a study by the University of North Carolina, the Saudi Health Council and the World Bank.
Almost a third (27 per cent) of people with obesity surveyed in the SMF/Opinium poll, said their diet had declined in the pandemic, and 31 per cent said it had led them to do less exercise.
Boris Johnson, who established the anti-obesity strategy this summer, was said to have become inspirational about the matter after his harrowing episode of COVID.
The strategy includes advertisements across all media, and plans are being drawn up to prohibit online junk food ads, the most challenging digital marketing constraints in the world. Nevertheless, the National Audit Office has warned that the Government will not, as intended, halve childhood obesity in England by 2030.
Perhaps this is the best we can expect from Boris Johnson, although there have been some things that he’s been effective at, but none of them favourable or for the benefit of those who elected him.
Most of all, he’s embarrassed the entire country, fibbing, doing things in his own interest and brutalising politics, and Boris Johnson’s campaign to do something effective has become largely ineffective.