The Prime Minister told senior advisers that the experience has left him determined to lead a public health drive to encourage people to watch their weight. According to the Times, Mr Johnson told senior ministers and advisers, “I’ve changed my mind on this” and was planning a new strategy. New research has shown that being obese doubles the risk of requiring hospital treatment for coronavirus.
When Mr Johnson was admitted to hospital, he weighed 17-and-a half-stone, which meant his BMI index was 36.
Any BMI reading above 30 indicates that someone is obese.
The Prime Minister’s drive to get people to be healthier goes against his natural instincts of intervening in the private lives of individuals.
An opponent of the “nanny state”, Mr Johnson has previously expressed scepticism about the sugar tax, which he pledged to review.
BORIS JOHNSON plans to wage a war against obesity
The Prime Minister told senior advisers that the experience has left him determined
This brought him into conflict with the Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who believes the sugar tax has been a “total triumph”.
It comes as new official figures revealed that one-in-four UK coronavirus fatalities had diabetes, a condition often caused by obesity.
For the first time, NHS England published a breakdown of deaths by pre-existing conditions.
Only five per cent of victims didn’t have an underlying issue.
When Mr Johnson was admitted to hospital, he weighed 17-and-a half-stone
Of the 22,332 patients who died since March 31, when pre-existing conditions began to be reported, some 5,873 (26 per cent) of patients had diabetes.
Diabetes affects around four million people in the UK and makes them more susceptible to developing infections.
High blood sugar levels weaken a person’s immune system, impairing the body’s ability to respond to viruses.
This in turn makes diabetics far more vulnerable to developing serious complications from any virus.
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An opponent of the “nanny state”, Mr Johnson has previously expressed scepticism
This brought him into conflict with the Health Secretary Matt Hancock
Dr Hajira Dambha-Miller, a GP and specialist in diabetes, said she was not surprised by the data.
She told MailOnline: “People with diabetes are more susceptible to infections, even if we are not in the middle of a pandemic.
“Diabetes leads to greater susceptibility to infection because there is more sugar for bugs to grow on and chronic inflammation means the immune system is slower to clear it.”
She added that the blood of diabetics often becomes “like treacle”, making it far harder for the immune system to get to the virus.
Meanwhile, Britons testing negative for coronavirus may have to endure restrictions on their freedom for longer than those who test positive, under plans being considered by the UK government.
Ministers have had to scrap plans to issue “immunity passports” to those people who have coronavirus antibodies, as there is still no proof that this confirms immunity from the virus.
Instead, the government is considering giving people a “health certificate” to confirm they have had the virus and recovered.
Britons testing negative for coronavirus may have to endure restrictions on their freedom for longer
This means they will be able to enjoy greater freedom if and when proof of immunity has been established.
It comes as Boris Johnson is locked in talks with the Swiss pharmaceutical firm Roche, in a bid to buy millions of antibody tests from the company.
On Wednesday, Public Health England approved the Roche test in what is considered a major breakthrough moment for controlling the pandemic.
Published at Fri, 15 May 2020 04:42:00 +0000