Prime Minister Boris Johnson abandons his libertarian instincts and is considering state intervention to tackle the high levels of obesity in the UK.
The coronavirus crisis has convinced Johnson that ministers have a duty to treat excess weight as a major health problem, he told Times Radio Monday.
The Prime Minister had previously denounced the interventions of the “nanny state” in the lives of ordinary people, but his battle – and that of the nation – against the coronavirus has changed his mind. He described how he lost weight during intensive care with Covid-19 in April, and said he is considering how to fix the nation’s poor obesity record.
“I have taken a very libertarian stance on obesity,” said Johnson. “But in fact, when you look at the numbers, when you look at the pressure on the NHS, compare, I fear, this wonderful country of ours to other European countries, we are much bigger than most.”
Johnson argued that it is not “easy” for politicians to resolve obesity, but said he would consider the arguments “carefully” on any government intervention that might follow. He declined to comment directly if the measures would include sugar taxes or different treatments.
“We will be happier and fitter and more resistant to diseases like Covid if we can fight obesity,” he said. “We certainly have to take care of the health of our people.”
The pandemic, which has killed more than 43,000 people in the UK, “has been a disaster, an absolute nightmare for the country,” said Johnson, pledging to learn from the failures of the government’s response.
(With the exception of the title, this story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)