Two studies published the same week that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was taken to critical care for Covid-19 found obesity a substantial risk factor for severe illness and mortality. It was April 2020, and doctors were baffled as to why coronavirus caused mild symptoms in some persons and left others gasping for air in others. Following his recovery, Johnson became outspoken about the role he believes his fat played in his virus encounter.
Johnson, a conservative who has railed against “the continuing creep of the nanny state” in the past, announced a new governmentwide obesity strategy that included a ban on junk food advertising on TV before 9 p.m. There are new calorie labeling requirements in restaurants and a requirement that healthier products be stocked near checkout lines. The prime minister started running every day and encouraged the populace to do the same.
There hasn’t been a similar wake-up call in Washington regarding the link between Diet Related ailments and the epidemic. There is no such thing as a national strategy. As a result, even as academics increasingly realize that obesity is caused by a lack of willpower rather than a lack of will, there is no systemwide treatment.