Obesity and coronavirus – where next for policy?


This report from UK think tank the Social Market Foundation looks at the government’s new obesity strategy and the need for new policy.

Obesity and overweight have become major public health issues in the UK in recent decades. The Coronavirus pandemic has further highlighted the health consequences of living with overweight and obesity. In response, the UK Government has unveiled a new obesity strategy to get the country to “lose weight to beat coronavirus (COVID-19) and protect the NHS”. The new obesity strategy is the latest in a series of policy interventions and strategies adopted by successive governments. Getting it right and learning lessons from the recent past will be crucial if the UK is to reduce the substantial health and economic inequalities that exist in the UK. Policy will need to recognise and reflect that obesity is a complex condition – far more so than overly simplistic narratives about diet and exercise suggest.

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