The Government's plan to tackle obesity

By Jack Street

The government has outlined new plans to tackle obesity in the UK. Obesity levels in the UK have continued to rise year after year which poses a major threat to public health and the NHS. 30% of UK adults are recognised as clinically obese and 63% of adults are seen as being overweight. These new plans are being introduced to tackle this threat and begin to reduce the levels of obesity in the UK.

The government has said that they want to tackle this issue with a public health campaign to bring down obesity levels that can increase the risk of dying from a plethora of illnesses, including Covid-19, and as a way to save the NHS money. The plans include:

  • A ban on TV and online adverts for food high in fat, sugar and salt before 9 pm

  • The end of deals like ‘buy one get one free’ on unhealthy food high in salt, sugar and fat

  • Calories to be displayed on menus to help people make healthier choices when eating out – while alcoholic drinks could soon have to list hidden ‘liquid calories’

  • A new campaign to help people lose weight, get active and eat better after COVID-19 ‘wake-up call’

Reactions to the plan

During the launch, the Prime Minister used his personal experience with weight and recent Covid-19 health scare to argue for the plans. The link between obesity and increased death rates from Covid-19 have increased the immediacy of the problem. These plans have been encouraged by some health campaigners, in particular Jamie Oliver, who has called it a welcome first step in the campaign to tackle the obesity crisis.