Economy

Johnson: UK will be 'fitter and happier' if obesity problem is tackled

Johnson: UK will be 'fitter and happier' if obesity problem is tackled”

"This has been a disaster", Johnson told Times Radio.

"When I came out of hospital I did notice there were occasional pieces in the papers saying I was looking a bit wraithlike, or something someone said", Johnson said.

"This has been a disaster, let's not mince our words, this has been an absolute nightmare for the country", he said.

Mr Johnson, who spent time in intensive care battling COVID-19, said the government owed it to all those who have died and suffered to look at exactly "what went wrong and when".

"I totally understand that and we will". Worldwide, obesity has almost tripled since 1975 and more than 650 million people are obese - defined by the World Health Organization as having a Body Mass Index of 30 or greater.

"We can not just step back now".

"But in the end what you can't do at this moment is go back to what people called austerity, it wasn't actually austerity but people called it austerity, and I think that would be a mistake".

"It would be very helpful if our friends in the teaching unions really delivered that message loud and clear, and some of the councils".

More news: Coronavirus outbreak at MI college bar infects at least 85 people

Johnson, whose popularity has flagged over his government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, will make a speech on Tuesday to set out an infrastructure programme, allowing him to return to election pledges that helped him win a large majority.

Asked if he was still anxious that total deaths and the infection rate remained too high, Mr Johnson said: "Every day I worry".

"They are much, much lower than they were a few weeks ago and that is encouraging".

"The crucial thing is to make sure that we're ready to crack down on local flare ups and that's why we have the wack-a-mole strategy".

He used a 2004 Daily Telegraph column to say that it was people's "own fat fault" if they were obese and "the more the state tries to take responsibility for the problem, the less soluble the problem will become".

But Jonathan Ashworth, Labour's shadow health secretary and Leicester South MP, said Patel had "got slightly in a muddle" about a possible lockdown.

"I do think the investment will pay off because this is a very, very dynamic, very productive economy", Johnson said, promising a platform that would encourage companies to invest in capital and in skills training.

Johnson said he had been "very lucky" in his recovery from COVID-19.



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