The UK government has today published its plans to tackle obesity and “empower adults and children to live healthier lives” post-COVID.
Under this new strategy, the government intends to ban advertisements of High Fat, Salt or Sugar (HFSS) products on television and online before 9pm, end the promotion of HFSS products in stores – including some half price offers, ‘buy one get one free’ offers and unhealthy snacks located at tills/checkouts – and ask restaurants, cafes and bars to disclose calorific content on on menus.
Changes will also be made to the ‘traffic light’ food labelling system.
The plans form part of the #BetterHealth campaign, of which COVID-19 has provided a “wake-up call” for.
Tackling obesity has been identified by the government as “one of the greatest long-term health challenges this country faces”.
According to government data, two-thirds (63%) of UK adults are above a healthy weight, with 36% overweight and 28% obese, one in three children aged 10 to 11 are overweight or obese, and children living with obesity are five times more likely to become obese adults.
In the plans – published via the gov.uk website this morning – the government stated that: “Our country’s rates of obesity are storing up future problems for individuals and our NHS, but worryingly, there is now consistent evidence that people who are overweight or living with obesity who contract coronavirus (COVID-19) are more likely to be admitted to hospital, to an intensive care unit and, sadly to die from COVID-19 compared to those of a healthy body weight status.”
“Obesity has become an immediate concern for anyone who is overweight and for our health and care services.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the plans would help “reduce our health risks and protect ourselves against coronavirus” and has admitted himself to losing around a stone since recovering from his admission to hospital with COVID-19 in April.
Writing in The Daily Telegraph today, Health Secretary Matt Hancock also added that: “This deadly virus has given us a wake-up call about the need to tackle the stark inequalities in our nation’s health,”
“Obesity is an urgent example of this.”
“If everyone who is overweight lost five pounds it could save the NHS more than £100 million over the next five years. And more importantly, given the link between obesity and coronavirus, losing weight could be life-saving.”
Along with the ban on TV and online adverts before the watershed, the government said it would hold a consultation on whether to stop fast food adverts online altogether.
Labelling of calories on menus will apply to any restaurant, cafe or takeaway chain with more than 250 employees, and another new consultation will be launched around plans to provide the same information for alcoholic drinks.
The government is aiming to fully implement each of these measures before the end of 2022.
More information on today’s announcements can be found via the Department of Health and Social Care on Twitter here, and you can read the full plans for the #BetterHealth campaign via the gov.uk website here.
Police search for Moors murder victim Keith Bennett resumes as ‘skull is found’
Police are back searching for Moors Murder victim Keith Bennett after a skull was reportedly found.
12-year-old Keith was snatched by notorious serial killers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley in 1964.
The pair’s victims were five children, Pauline Reade, John Kilbride, Keith Bennett, Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans, all aged between 10 and 17 years old at the time of their murder.
The victims were buried on Saddleworth Moor, but Keith’s remains have never been found.
Now a major breakthrough may have come from an author, Russell Edwards, who alerted police to ‘potential human remains in a remote location’.
Specialist GMP officers have now begun initial exploration activity but say it is ‘far too early’ to confirm if human remains have been discovered.
Officers have also updated Keith’s brother Alan Bennett, who was just eight years old when his sibling vanished and who has dedicated much of his life to solving the mystery of the missing body.
MP Force Review Officer Martin Bottomley said: “At around 11.25am on Thursday 29 September 2022, Greater Manchester Police was contacted by the representative of an author who has been researching the murder of Keith Bennett, a victim of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley.
“Following direct contact with the author, we were informed that he had discovered what he believes are potential human remains in a remote location on the Moors and he agreed to meet with officers yesterday afternoon to elaborate on his find and direct us to a site of interest.
“The site was assessed late last night and, this morning, specialist officers have begun initial exploration activity. We are in the very early stages of assessing the information which has been brought to our attention but have made the decision to act on it in line with a normal response to a report of this kind.
“It is far too early to be certain whether human remains have been discovered and this is expected to take some time.
“We have always said that GMP would act on any significant information which may lead to the recovery of Keith and reunite him with his family. As such, we have informed his brother of the potential development – he does not wish to be contacted at this time and asks that his privacy is respected.”
A further GMP statement published by the Manchester Evening Newsadded: “We have always said that GMP would act on any significant information which may lead to the recovery of Keith and reunite him with his family.
“Officers met with Mr Edwards yesterday evening (29th September) and he was able to locate a site of interest and provide us with further details of the work he has been carrying out.
“We are at the very early stages of assessing the evidence which he brought to our attention, but have taken the decision to excavate an area of land with a view to determining what lies there.
“It is far too early to be certain whether human remains have been uncovered, but out of respect for Alan Bennett, who we regularly maintain contact with, we have informed him of this potential development.
“Alan does not wish to be disturbed at this time and we would ask that his request for privacy is respected.”
Featured image: GMP
Question Time audience stunned as first-time buyer says mortgage quote DOUBLED
Thursday night’s Question Time audience could be heard audibly gasping after a fellow crowd member revealed that her mortgage quote had doubled followed the recent mini-budget.
Taping in Manchester on 29 September, the current events and politics programme was discussing property when would-be first-time buyer Rabia revealed that her mortgage offer had jumped from an initial amount of 4.5% interest to a shocking 10.5% in just a matter of days.
As you can see in the incredible clip, both the audience and the panel are taken aback at the revelation.
The Greater Manchester resident said she is desperate to know what the government’s plan for mortgages is as following the latest revision, she says she simply cannot afford to put the money down on her first home.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer weighed in on the social media reaction, quote tweeting the clip from his party’s own account and stating that “the Tories must get back to Parliament and reverse their kamikaze budget” as the current economic mess is being “paid for by working people”.
To make matters worse, Rabia was given no clarification from her lenders, only that they were pulling her offers. Conservative MP and Minister for Local Government, Faith and Communities, Paul Scully had little information to offer her either, simply stating it is a short-term effect and that the market will stabilise.
Scully was subject to an entirely different reaction from the audience as well after his blind attempts to defend Prime Minister Liz Truss and Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng were met with laughter. Conversely, Richard Bacon was met with applause after he labelled the mini-budget “absurd”.
As if the anti-Tory sentiment wasn’t already at a high, the chancellor’s mini-budget – which saw the corporations, bankers and the generally wealthy benefit ahead of the working class – has seen fresh calls for a general election to be held as soon as possible.
Beyond declaring a so-called £2,500 limit on energy bills (which many have warned isn’t a guaranteed cap), there was seemingly very little in the way of policy that
For those still unclear as to what was announced in the divisive mini-budget, here is a quick summary:
Speaking in a speech at the Labour conference in Liverpool on Tuesday, Starmer said that the government “haven’t just failed to fix the roof, they’ve ripped out the foundations, smashed the windows and now they’ve blown the doors off for good measure.