Boris Johnson to ban junk food deals in war on obesity crisis following coronavirus battle

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BORIS Johnson is set to fire the first salvo in his war on obesity with a ban on supermarket deals on junk food.

The Prime Minister is expected to introduce legislation which will stop buy one, get one free deals on fatty snacks such as sweets and chocolate.

He is also expected to introduce a ban on promoting chocolate and sweets at the end of supermarket aisles, reports The Times.

Downing Street is also considering reviving plans for compulsory calorie counts on restaurant and takeaway menus.

It comes as the PM pledged to tackle obesity in Britain as he believes his weight led to his tough fight against coronavirus.

Obese people are twice as likely to die from the virus than others, and those who are overweight are 26 per cent more likely to die.

Britain is the second fattest European nation, a problem which is even more serious amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Malta is the only nation in Europe with a higher rate of obesity than Britain – with two thirds of UK adults being overweight.

Mr Johnson is expected to announce the raft of new measures alongside a campaign to encourage people to keep up healthy habits picked up in lockdown.

Brits stuck at home aside from taking daily exercise led to many taking up hobbies such as running, walking, cyling and home-based workouts.

Evidence suggests that 40 per cent of junk food spending is on products which are on promotion – suggesting Mr Johnson’s plan for a ban could be key in fighting the flab.

Celeb workout coach Joe Wicks also reportedly visited No 10 this week to discuss the plans for the fitness drive with Mr Johnson.

Mr Johnson had entered Downing Street expressing doubts about “sin stealth taxes” on food and “nanny state” attitudes.

He is believed to have been snapped into action however by his own coronavirus battle – which left him fighting for his life in hospital.

The Prime Minister has often been photographed jogging or riding a bike through London as part of his personal fitness drive.

But he still weighed 17.5 stone, while only 5ft 9in in height, when he entered hospital with severe coronavirus symptoms.

He has reportedly already shed a stone since being discharged after beating the virus on April 12.

 

 

Various conditions linked to obesity, including diabetes and heart disease, are known to make patients more vulnerable to the virus.

After his hospital visit, the PM is reported to have told advisors quite simply “I have changed my mind of this”.

He is reported to have said during discussions, “it’s all right for you thinnies”, and to think the current focus on public health presents an opportunity to “get Britain on its bike”.

It was also reported that Johnson’s advice when asked how to beat off coronavirus was: “Don’t be a fatty in your fifties.”

Britain has already been the worst nation impacted in Europe by the virus – with more than 44,000 deaths.

Mr Johnson’s plans however is expected to face a backlash from campaigners after a proposed 9pm watershed ban on junk food ads was shelved.

Sources have said the measure has not yet been totally scrapped, the PM faces is uncertain over the policy.

He is facing pressure from broadcasters and advertising agencies who fiercely oppose the plan.

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