BORIS Johnson has announced tough new rules to help Britain become more healthy.
The prime minister says his Better Health campaign will tackle the UK’s health crisis. Britain has one of the worst problems in Europe, with one in five primary-aged children overweight or obese.
Children with obesity are five times more likely to become obese adults.
So, what are the new rules?
- A ban on showing HFSS (high fat salt sugar) food on TV and online before 9pm – a total ban online could follow
- A ban on chocolates, crisps and sweets at checkouts
- Promotions such as ‘buy one get one free’ on unhealthy foods will be stopped
- Restaurants will need to include calories on their menus
There has been surprise at how far the new rules go. But Mr Johnson explained how he had “wanted to lose weight for ages”, and had been “way overweight” when he was in intensive care suffering from COVID-19. He believes being overweight affected how ill he became.
Experts say that being obese or overweight puts people at greater risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19. It also increases the chances of suffering from other health issues such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
The announcement follows months of campaigning by young people leading the Bite Back 2030 movement, calling for childhood obesity to be halved by 2030.
Teenage Bite Back 2030 co-chair Tasha Mhakayakora said: “Last week we wrote to the Government asking them to put the health of young people at the heart of British politics and today they have done that.”
“It had to stop” She added: “For decades, advertisers have been making stars of unhealthy food, shining the spotlight on cheap, low-nutrient products and encouraging us to overeat. That had to stop and we would like to thank Boris Johnson for taking such a tough stance.”
James Toop, who heads up Bite Back 2030, said: “During the day, 50% of food adverts have been for HFSS food, rising to 60% from 6-9pm. Today the end is in sight.” He says the new rules will make Britain a world leader at tackling childhood obesity. “They will force companies to make stars of healthy options and encourage people to eat food that is good for their health, not bad,” he said.