Time to tackle obesity? 

There is strong public support for the government to address obesity after emerging research suggests there is a link between obesity and adverse outcomes from Covid-19. 

Obesity Health Alliance polling data shows 74% of people support the drive to address obesity, which would include changes to how unhealthy food can be marketed and promoted. 70% say this should now be more of a priority, considering the potential link with Covid-19 complications. 

The poll also showed great public support for a national plan to improve public health (79%), and more support for physical activity schemes (78%). 

Currently, about a third of the UK population has a weight classed as obese or overweight, which has major implications for individuals’ wellbeing and productivity and can add to pressures on the NHS.  

Many of the suggested policies – such as a 9pm watershed on junk food adverts and restrictions on unhealthy food promotions – were consulted on by the Government in the first half of 2019. However, progress has since stalled. 

Caroline Cerny, Alliance Lead at the Obesity Health Alliance said: “The government can now feel confident that the game-changing policies needed to transform our environment into a healthier one are not only evidence-based but also wanted by the majority of people in the UK. We are now calling on the Government to push ahead with a comprehensive plan to make it easier for us all to be healthier, now and in the future by taking unhealthy food out of the spotlight.” 


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