Prime Minister Boris Johnson – who says he struggles with his own weight – has announced a range of measures to help people shed the pounds, including a ban on some junk food promotions and stricter advertising controls.
It comes after a Public Health England report found being overweight or obese can dramatically increase the risk of being admitted to hospital or dying from Covid-19.
Doctors, charities and campaign groups have welcomed the plans, but some say they don’t go far enough.
PHE figures show 63% of adults in North Yorkshire were classed as overweight or obese in 2018-19, the latest period for which data is available.
Although this was slightly below the average of 65% across Yorkshire, it was just above the England average of 62%.
Professor Dame Parveen Kumar, board of science chairwoman at the British Medical Association, said obesity can have a “devastating” impact on people’s health, including the increased risk from Covid-19.
She added: “As the Government’s new strategy recognises, this has been a real wake-up call for the nation, and it’s imperative that we use this opportunity to make changes for good, not only for society today, but also for generations to come.”
Separate PHE figures show that 23% of children aged four to five years old in North Yorkshire were overweight or obese in the 2018-19 academic year.
The Prime Minister’s obesity strategy includes:
○ Barring shops from pushing “buy one, get one free” promotions on unhealthy products
○ Ending junk food adverts on television and online before the 9pm watershed
○ Forcing restaurants and takeaways with more than 250 employees to add calorie labels to menus
○ Expanding NHS weight management services and its Diabetes Prevention Programme