WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson advised his fellow countrymen to lose weight to reduce their risk for COVID-19.
- Johnson shared his own experience with the disease and added that he lost 14 pounds since his hospitalization.
- Health Secretary Matt Hancock estimated that their National Health Service could save 100 million pounds ($128 million) over the next five years if every overweight Briton lost just 5 pounds.
United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged British citizens to lose weight to reduce their risk for COVID-19.
“When I went into ICU, when I was really ill… I was way overweight. I’m only about 5 foot 10 you know, on the outside and, you know, I was too fat,” he said.
He shared that he lost 14 pounds since his hospitalization. He added, “Since I recovered from coronavirus I’ve been steadily rebuilding my fitness.”
The prime minister shared the video on the same day that the U.K. government launched a series of fat-fighting measures. One such measure banned TV commercials featuring food high in fat, sugar, and salt before 9 p.m.
According to 2018 data from the World Health Organization, 27.8 percent of people in the U.K. are obese.
Johnson shared how his morning exercise routine — a daily run with his dog, Dilyn — helped energize him for the rest of the day. He urged people to establish a similar morning exercise routine to lose weight, decrease their risk for disease, and therefore ease the burden on their National Health Service.
According to Health Secretary Matt Hancock, the NHS could save 100 million pounds ($128 million) over the next five years if every overweight Briton lost just 5 pounds.
The U.K. was overwhelmed by COVID-19 in April and May, as proven by their prime minister’s own near-fatal brush with the disease. The nation now has the third-highest death toll in the world: 45,000.
Johnson and his government have been heavily criticized for how they handled the crisis.
During a BBC interview on Friday, the prime minister admitted that his team had underestimated the pandemic: “We didn’t understand [the virus] in the way that we would have liked in the first few weeks and months.”