Politics

Boris Johnson boasts of Covid weight loss but 'rules out' tax to fight obesity


Boris Johnson has lost almost a stone and a half since nearly dying from coronavirus, he revealed today.

But he appeared to rule out new taxes to help fight Britain’s obesity epidemic.

The Prime Minister was said to have tipped the scales at 17-and-a-half stone after gorging on “late night binges of chorizo and cheese”.

But his brush with death in April helped him shed the weight – and has inspired a new fight against obesity.

“I’m down a stone and five pounds on where I was before I went into ICU. But I’ve got a long way to go,” he told the Sunday Telegraph.

“If you lose weight, you feel better, you really do feel better. It’s a mental boon, as well as greatly reducing your risk of all sorts of conditions, Covid being one of them.”

He stressed he would not “recommend that (going into intensive care) as a diet”.

Boris Johnson in January, before his weight loss

Poor diet has overtaken smoking and drinking to become the UK’s biggest premature killer.

One in three children leaves primary school overweight or obese.

And the epidemic of obesity is thought to cost the NHS around £6bn a year.

He appeared to rule out a sugar tax to help the battle against obesity, saying: “On putting up prices of food for people who may not be on high incomes, I’m not instinctively in favour of that.

“There are other ways of doing it.”

The PM admitted he was “anxious” about being seen as “nannying”, but warned there was “no doubt at all that we are fatter than most other European countries”.

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The Conservative leader, 56, added: “I don’t feel I can talk with authority about this until I’ve made more progress myself in reducing my own body mass. But I have made some.”





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