Fit For Purpose – Matt Hancock works out with The Sun as he vows to get Britain in shape

Source: The Sun

Date: 25-July-2020

Photograph courtesy of The Sun.

The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, is launching a crusade to get the country eating less and moving more. Daily exercise is being encouraged as part of an anti-obesity wake-up call. The Better Health battle plan comes as evidence shows excess weight is linked to a higher risk of severe illness from Covid-19.

I joined Mr Hancock for a lunchtime jog to talk through the aims. He had swapped his usual business suit for a navy blue tracksuit for our chat in St James’s Park, central London, close to the Department of Health and Social Care offices in Whitehall. He even took up my challenge of doing some one-handed press-ups.

Britain is the second-fattest nation in Europe, after Malta, and Mr Hancock wants to see us drop down the table. In a stark warning, he says: “One of the reasons we’ve had such a bad time of Covid is that we’re one of the fattest countries in Europe and we need to tackle that.

“The way to do that is supporting people and motivating people to do what’s right for them and what’s right by the NHS. It’s a call to action, a national effort that we need.

“Teachers have a big role to play as well in this national effort. I applaud The Daily Mile [for young children to jog or run for 15 minutes daily at school] and there are lots of ways to exercise.”

Offices and firms across the land are also being asked to buy into the new push.

He says: “For all employers, for companies and bosses, Covid has shown health impacts on the bottom line. It’s in bosses’ interests to help their employees stay fit.” Doctors will also have a greater role to play in being more frank with patients if they are obese or overweight.

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