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Ludlow MP welcomes government obesity measures

By Rory Smith | Ludlow | Politics | Published:

Ludlow MP Philip Dunne has expressed his support for new government measures to tackle obesity after more adults in Shropshire were found to be overweight or obese than almost anywhere else in England.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson – who says he struggles with his own weight – has announced a range of measures to help people shed the pounds, including a ban on some junk food promotions and stricter advertising controls.

Almost two thirds of adults in England are overweight or living with obesity – and one in three children leave primary school overweight or obese, with obesity-related illnesses costing the NHS £6 billion a year.

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Mr Dunne, a former health minister who is a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on obesity and a long-standing campaigner on the role it plays in increasing rates of diabetes, said: "We know obesity causes significant health issues and costs our NHS billions of pounds each year, but Covid-19 has shown yet another reason why it is important to maintain a healthy weight.

"Obesity is a growing problem, particularly among children, so it is right the government helps people to make informed choices for their health, and explores a broad range of solutions to tackle obesity in society, to protect the NHS and improve our nation’s health.”

It comes after Public Health England figures show 72 per cent of adults in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin were classed as overweight or obese in 2018/19, the latest period for which data is available.

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This was among the highest proportions in the country – the national average stood at 62 per cent.

It was also above the average of 66 per cent across the West Midlands.

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The government is setting out an obesity strategy to help people take control of their own future by losing weight, getting active and adopting a healthier lifestyle.

Measures in the plan include banning unhealthy food adverts on TV and online before 9pm and consulting on whether the online ban should apply at all times of the day; ending buy one get one free promotions of unhealthy foods; requiring large restaurants, cafes and takeaways to add calorie labels; consulting on plans to provide calorie labelling on alcohol; and expanding NHS weight management services.

This coincides with a new Better Health campaign which will call on people to adopt a healthier lifestyle and lose weight.

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley, Telford.

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