The prime minister is ready to announce new measures to curb weight problems subsequent week, and they’re anticipated to incorporate a ban on TV junk meals adverts earlier than 21:00.
The measures are but to be finalised however are additionally prone to embrace a ban on on-line adverts for unhealthy meals and limits on in-store promotions.
Some eating places may very well be required to place calorie labels on menus.
It comes amid rising proof people who find themselves chubby or overweight are at larger danger from coronavirus.
The transfer marks a change in stance by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has beforehand criticised levies on meals excessive in salt, fats and sugar – and described his views on tackling weight problems as “libertarian”.
Mr Johnson’s expertise in intensive care throughout his therapy for Covid-19 is believed to have contributed to his altering place.
Boris Johnson has lengthy been crucial of the “nanny state”.
However the obvious hyperlink between weight problems and extra critical instances of Covid-19, alongside together with his personal expertise in intensive care, seems to have satisfied the prime minister that the federal government ought to take a extra lively position in selling public well being.
He has described the coronavirus disaster as “a devastating blow” so plainly the weight problems technique might be a part of a battle plan to stop it putting so laborious once more.
Ministers are nonetheless finalising the element of some anti-obesity measures, similar to whether or not to require extra outstanding labelling of meals and drinks with excessive ranges of sugar or salt.
Proposals put ahead, however not enacted, by Mr Johnson’s predecessor Theresa Might in 2018 are prone to be revived.
She consulted on whether or not to ban TV adverts for meals which can be excessive in fats, salt or sugar throughout household viewing hours – and whether or not to limit internet marketing.
The proposals had been extensively resisted by advertisers and business broadcasters.
However it’s thought Mr Johnson is prone to push forward with promoting restrictions, and is contemplating banning in-store promotions of unhealthy meals.
Well being and Social Care Minister Helen Whatley instructed BBC Breakfast that whereas she couldn’t touch upon the experiences an announcement was due “imminently”, and mentioned she recognised weight problems was “presumably the best well being problem” the nation confronted.
She mentioned: “Significantly with Covid, you might be at larger danger of getting it, at larger danger of problems, at larger danger of sadly dying from Covid in case you are chubby.
“In order it’s such an vital well being problem now we have to take it on, and the PM is dedicated to creating positive we sort out weight problems and… folks stay wholesome lives.”
Tam Fry, chairman of the Nationwide Weight problems Discussion board, instructed BBC Radio 4’s Right this moment programme he believed the prime minister’s expertise in St Thomas’s Hospital had been a “sport changer” and that it was understood the goal was to get folks to shed some pounds “previous to the following spike”.
He mentioned: “There hasn’t been a ban like this however it’s got to be given a attempt – and if after a time period it’s proven to not be so efficient, then perhaps it should cease.
“It’s certainly a danger however the issue is that the consequence of weight problems is so nice that dangers and daring measures should be put in place.”
He known as for the sugar tax on smooth drinks to be prolonged to different merchandise.