Boris Johnson targets checkout sweets and ‘buy one, get one free’ deals in national obesity plan

Junk food adverts will be banned on TV and online before 9pm and shops will not be allowed to display sweets and chocolates at checkouts as part of a national crackdown on obesity.

Boris Johnson is also putting an end to “buy one, get one free” promotions on high-fat products as part of his new “Better Health” campaign.

The prime minister is encouraging people up and down the country to lose weight to save the NHS time and money after his own brush with coronavirus in April.

People who are clinically obese are 40% more likely to die of COVID-19, according to new Public Health England figures.

Mr Johnson’s time in intensive care has seen him U-turn on his approach to the country’s waistlines, after previous criticisms of so-called “sin taxes” and “nannying” by the government.

He said of the changes outlined on Monday: “Losing weight is hard but with some small changes we can all feel fitter and healthier.

“If we all do our bit, we can reduce our health risks and protect ourselves against coronavirus – as well as taking pressure off the NHS.”

The changes will also force large restaurants, cafes and takeaways with more than 250 employees to put calorie labels on their food.

There will be a further consultation on whether the same calorie counts should be applied to alcohol before the end of the year and if the ad ban should be extended further online, the Department of Health said.

As part of the programme, NHS weight loss services will also be expanded, while GPs will be encouraged to prescribe bike rides, with patients in pilot areas to be given access to bikes.

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