Boris Johnson is accused of hypocrisy for plans to ban junk food deals in anti-obesity drive

Boris Johnson was today accused of hypocrisy over plans to get Britain into shape by banning buy-one-get-one-free deals on junk food and stopping supermarkets from selling sweets near tills in his war on obesity.

In an attempt to make the nation slimmer, Number 10 is also expected to re-consider making it mandatory to put calorie counts on all restaurant and takeaway menus. 

But furious obesity campaigners today told MailOnline it ‘defies belief’ that ministers are considering to adopt the ‘sensible’ plans to help millions lose weight just a day after they announced a ‘stupid’ move to offer cut-price meals.

Experts yesterday savaged Chancellor Rishi Sunak‘s ‘Eat Out’ scheme, branding it a ‘green light for junk food’ for allowing up to £10-a-head discounts for Britons eating out in August at chains including Burger King.

It came on the same day England’s deputy chief medical officer urged people to lose weight ahead of another potential Covid-19 wave this winter. The UK has the second highest obesity rate in Europe, with two-thirds of adults and a third of children overweight.

The Prime Minister himself has already warned Britain needs to slim down to protect themselves from the coronavirus, after he reportedly blamed his own weight on his near-death battle with Covid-19 which left him in intensive care. 

In an attempt to make Britain slimmer, Boris Johnson is also expected to re-consider making it mandatory to put calorie counts on restaurant and takeaway menus

Campaigners today attacked the plans. Tam Fry, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, told MailOnline it is 'high time' the PM gets his 'strategy sorted out'

Campaigners today attacked the plans. Tam Fry, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, told MailOnline it is ‘high time’ the PM gets his ‘strategy sorted out’

WHY DOES OBESITY RAISE THE RISK OF DYING FROM COVID? 

Those who are overweight and unfit have lower lung capacity than healthy people, which makes it hard to get oxygen and blood around the body.

When COVID-19 strikes it makes it more difficult to breath and blocks the flow of oxygen even more, which eventually overwhelms the bodies of obese people.

This is the reason why overweight and obese people in intensive care are more likely to need assistance with breathing and support with kidney function, experts say.

Being severely overweight leads to larger quantities of ACE2 in the body, the enzyme hijacked by the virus to enter the body.

The more viral load that invades the body, the worse the severity of the illness and harder it is for the immune system to fend off.

Doctors say the immune systems of fat people are constantly ramped up as they try to protect and repair the damage inflammation causes to cells.

Using all its energy fending off inflammation means the body’s defence system has few resources left to defend against a new infection like Covid-19.

Obese people also tend to eat a diet with very little fiber and antioxidants – which keep the immune system healthy – such as fruit and vegetables.

Efforts to crack down on Britons’ excess weight have been given new impetus after it emerged that fat people are more at risk of death and serious ill health from Covid-19.

Officials are drawing up plans that include greater use of bariatric surgery – such as gastric bands – as part of a wider fitness programme that includes diet advice and family exercise plans. 

Obesity campaigners have for years  argued that junk food adverts should be banned before 9pm to curb spiralling childhood obesity rates.

But among the measures set to be rolled out to fight obesity, Mr Johnson is not expected to implement any watershed on marketing for foods high in sugar and fat, The Times reports.

Whitehall sources claim that ministers aren’t as convinced by the scientific evidence on banning junk food adverts in the fight against obesity.

However, studies have shown that watching one extra advertisement a week leads to children eating up to 18,000 extra calories each year. 

The newspaper also claimed the measures Downing Street is set to take are just the first set of interventions to tackle obesity. 

Mr Johnson prompted criticism when he declared a war on ‘sin taxes’ last summer, promising to review the flagship sugar levy on fizzy drinks. 

His pledge – made during the Tory leadership race – sparked fury from campaigners who accused Mr Johnson of ‘turning back the clock’.

Campaigners today attacked the plans. Tam Fry, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, told MailOnline it is ‘high time’ the PM gets his ‘strategy sorted out’.

He said: ‘It defies belief that, within just 24 hours, Downing St has both given permission for restaurants to profit from selling junk meals yet announce that supermarkets will be banned from including junk food in BOGOF promotion deals.’

He added: ‘In terms of tackling obesity the former measure is as stupid as the latter is sensible. 

How some of the country's favourite dishes could be discounted under the Chancellor's deal - with the potential of even further price cuts if restaurateurs pass on VAT cut to customers

How some of the country’s favourite dishes could be discounted under the Chancellor’s deal – with the potential of even further price cuts if restaurateurs pass on VAT cut to customers 

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the deal to try and stimulate the economy

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the deal to try and stimulate the economy

‘It would be hard to think of a better way of confusing the public into what to eat and what not to. 

‘As Boris Johnson goes to wage war on fat it is high time that he gets his strategy sorted out.’ 

How you can get £10 off at restaurants and pubs under Rishi Sunak’s meal deal 

Food lovers will be able to grab a meal at some of the country’s best-loved restaurants for little more than £10.

Diners will receive a 50 per cent discount, up to a maximum of £10 per head, on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the month of August, under Rishi Sunak’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme.

The diner discount, which will only apply to participating business, was announced today by the chancellor.

But penny-pinching Britons have already started to come up with ways to maximise their savings from the scheme, which covers food and non-alcoholic drinks, but not booze.

One Twitter user pointed out that Amex cardholders paying at an Amex UK Shop Small restaurant vendor could get £5 back on top of the £10 discount for the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

Others pointed out that diner’s could save more by eating less – or at cheaper restaurants – because the 50 per cent discount goes up to a maximum of £10 per head.

So if a meal costs £20, the diner will get £10 off, but if a meal costs £30, the diner will still only get £10 off.

It means those who visit two restaurants and spend £20 each time can save £20, compared to one £40 dinner, which would result in a £10 saving.

As well as the Eat Out to Save Out deal, Mr Sunak also announced a cut VAT, from 20 per cent to 5 per cent, for six months for the hospitality industry.

He said it would apply to eat-in or hot takeaway food from restaurants, cafes and pubs, accommodation in hotels, B&Bs, campsites and caravan sites and attractions like cinemas, theme parks and zoos. 

With the Eat Out to Help Out deal, businesses will claim the money back from the Treasury, which is expected to spend £500million on the scheme.

Restaurants and pubs are expected to announce their involvement over the coming weeks.

Those business that want to take part in the scheme will have to register through a website that opens on Monday.

The deal applies to restaurants, cafés, and pubs which apply to be part of the scheme. 

Under Mr Sunak’s scheme, Brits will get 50 per cent off the cost of most meals from Monday to Wednesday in August.

It means an £80 restaurant bill for a family of four would come to £40. But a couple spending £45 would pay £25.

Soft drinks will be included in the deal although alcohol will not. But the discount will only apply to participating businesses.

Meals must be consumed on the premises so takeaway food won’t count and the Eat Out to Help Out discount can be used ‘unlimited times’. 

Officials considered dishing out vouchers to everyone but decided it would lead to an increased risk of fraud and would take longer to administer. 

Mr Fry – who praised No 10 for pledging a war on fat in May – said Mr Sunak’s initiative felt like the ultimate buy one, get one free deal.

He said: ‘This looks like the mother and father of Bogofs and a green light to promote any old junk menu that the participating restaurant feels it can get away with.

‘With obesity rates ever increasing and now firmly linked to Covid-19, who wants more of the same?

‘Given a little thought Mr Sunak’s scheme to put bums on seats could have been a great idea to educate people into eating better.’ 

Action on Sugar also laid into the Eat Out to Help Out push, saying money should have been directed to a healthy eating drive.

A spokesman insisted: ‘We need joined up policy making that ensures everyone can access healthy food.

‘Discounts on unhealthy food and drink when the focus should be promoting healthy options and better labelling. 

‘This could have been an opportunity to discount healthy options that would benefit everyone.’ 

Mr Sunak’s announcement came on the same day England’s deputy CMO said Brits could protect themselves against Covid-19 this winter by losing weight.

Dr Jenny Harries warned obesity, proven to increase the risk of coronavirus-infected patients dying, was a risk the UK could ‘do something about’ ahead of winter.

She admitted she was ‘very, very concerned’ about a the threat of second wave of the virus this winter, warning it is ‘still out there’. 

Last month the Prime Minister claimed he was going to put Britain on a diet to help people become fighting fit ahead to tackle coronavirus.

He warned Britons were ‘significantly fatter’ than the rest of Europe and claimed only the population of Malta was more overweight. 

The Prime Minister insisted the issue was costing lives and leaving the the NHS with huge bills.

But he refused to be drawn on whether he would back state interventions, such as higher taxes or banning deals on unhealthy food. 

The PM will ignore opposition to ‘nanny state’ policies and launch a crackdown on the nation’s bulging waistlines after coronavirus is defeated, it was reported.

He had told senior advisers that the experience – which he famously said ‘could have gone either way’ – has left him determined to lead a public health drive.  

It comes after one doctor claimed that the PM was so badly affected by coronavirus because he was ‘significantly’ overweight.

Cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra pointed out other ‘slimmer’ members of the Cabinet – like Health Secretary Matt Hancock – recovered quicker and were not hospitalised.

Mr Johnson, 55, has long struggled with his weight and in 2018 revealed he weighed almost 16 and a half stone, which at 5ft 9in puts him in the high risk category.

Dr Malhotra said: ‘After old age poor diet is by far the most important driver of the conditions that have tragically and unnecessarily killed thousands of people from Covid-19. 

‘Globally it is responsible for more disease and death than physical activity, smoking and alcohol combined. 

‘If the The Prime Minister is serious about improving the health of the nation he needs to tackle head on ultra-processed and junk food in this country which makes up more than 50 per cent of the British diet. 

‘That means protecting the public from the excesses, manipulations and lies of the food industry that target the most vulnerable members of society with false advertising. 

‘For far too long they’ve been killing for profit and this needs to stop otherwise I fear there may be even more devastation and misery when the next pandemic comes around.’

Strictly’s Kristina Rihanoff claims she’s had ‘zero help’ from the government during COVID-19 crisis

Strictly’s Kristina Rihanoff slams Chancellor Rishi Sunak after claiming she’s had ‘zero help’ from the government as a self-employed dance teacher during COVID-19 crisis

Strictly Come Dancing ex-pro Kristina Rihanoff has slammed Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak after he unveiled his post-lockdown Budget.

The dancer, 42, claimed she’s had ‘zero help’ from the government after being ‘excluded’ from any financial aid as a self-employed dance teacher, meaning she hasn’t been eligible for furlough payments.

Kristina joins three million workers who are newly self-employed, PAYE freelancers or self-employed who have earned £50,000 or more in trading profits in recent years, but have no received no financial support during the pandemic.

Angry: Kristina Rihanoff has claimed she’s had ‘zero help’ from the government after being ‘excluded’ from any financial aid during COVID-19 pandemic (pictured in 2018)

In a slew of tweets Kristina revealed her financial hardship to her fans, as Chancellor Sunak failed to offer any financial aid to those excluded freelancers in his min-budget announced on Wednesday. 

Along with a six-month ‘stamp duty holiday,’ it was announced that the public would received a discount on eating in various restaurants from Monday to Wednesday throughout August, to try and encourage spending and restart the economy.

The ‘eat out to help out plan’ came under scrutiny for many, with Kristina noting that many people were unable to feed their own families after being unable to earn a penny since businesses closed in March.

Really? On Wednesday Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced his 'mini-budget' for the UK after lockdown, but failed to offer any aid for self-employed

Really? On Wednesday Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced his ‘mini-budget’ for the UK after lockdown, but failed to offer any aid for self-employed

On Wednesday she wrote: ‘To ”eat out to help out” you need to have some money @RishiSunak. You seem to forget that a lot of people lost their jobs or unable to work at the moment and the government excluded millions of people like myself and provided zero support just because we are company directors.’

Kristina currently works as a self-employed dance teacher, after leaving Strictly in 2015. She raises daughter Milena, four, with partner Ben Cohen.

On Thursday she also re-tweeted a furious message following Sunak’s appearance on BBC Breakfast, which stated: ‘Embarassing #RishiSunak on #BBCBreakfast basically it’s touch s**t for 3 mil self employed (no help)… you can have a discounted meal out tho!’

She later added: ‘What was this answer from @RishiSunak that government helpd self-employed? I AM self-employed, I am my company director and ”employing myself” but I got zero help just like millions of others like me! Why are we neglected? Oh but I can go and have a discounted meal.’

Irate: Kristina slammed Chancellor Sunak in a slew of tweets, noting she'd had 'zero help' from the government as a self-employed dance teacher

Irate: Kristina slammed Chancellor Sunak in a slew of tweets, noting she’d had ‘zero help’ from the government as a self-employed dance teacher 

Later in the day Kristina also shared a screengrab of a definition of the world ‘self-employed,’ writing: ‘Let’s have a look at the dictionary shall we?

‘The definition of self-employed is “working for oneself” like I am,company director, dance teacher, employing myself BUT @GOVUK @RishiSunak decided that I’m NOT self-employed & so I get zero help to support my family during COVID.’ 

Kristina has been unable to host her usual dance classes due to the lockdown, but has been hosting online lessons for fans keen to improve their moves. 

Hard-working: Since leaving Strictly in 2015, Kristina has set up her own dance school, and has continued to host online lessons during lockdown (pictured in March)

Hard-working: Since leaving Strictly in 2015, Kristina has set up her own dance school, and has continued to host online lessons during lockdown (pictured in March)

Many of those affected by the exclusions have been unable to work due to lockdown, losing most or all of their income, with some on the brink of winding up their business and almost all unable to claim any Government aid.

The most aribitary of the exclusions are those affecting the newly-self employed and sole traders who have made more than £50,000 in recent years, which they will have paid income tax on in full.

They are locked out of help of up to £2,500 per month for three months, despite there being no such upper earnings limit on the furlough scheme.

Close: She also raises daughter Milena, four, with partner Ben Cohen. They are pictured with his twin daughters from his marriage to Abby Blayney

Close: She also raises daughter Milena, four, with partner Ben Cohen. They are pictured with his twin daughters from his marriage to Abby Blayney

Could dining-out scheme be a recipe for disaster?

Rishi Sunak‘s half-price meals announcement has already been picked apart by savvy diners plotting to rinse the scheme by going out for a ‘safari supper’.  

Customers plan to avoid straying beyond the £10 cap on the Chancellor’s 50 per cent discount program by hopping between restaurants for each course.

People pointed out that if a customer racked up a £30 bill on a three-course meal, they would be charged £20.

Yet if they visited three different places for each course and spent £10 at each place, they would only be charged £15.  

MailOnline understands the government will not try to close this ‘loophole’ because its priority is for people to spend money, paving the way for people to offload more of their meal cost on to the taxpayer. 

Under the Eat Out To Help Out scheme unveiled in the Summer Statement yesterday, the Treasury will pick up half of the tab for restaurant and pub food bills from Mondays to Wednesdays in August – up to a maximum of £10 per head. 

Participating businesses such as Wagamamas and Burger King will then claim the lost money back from the Exchequer.

Intertwined with Mr Sunak’s 15 per cent reduction in VAT for food, diners will be able to eat out at a fraction of the normal price next month.

The salivating incentive of bargain prices is hoped to lure back people potentially nervous about visiting restaurants while Covid-19 is still present and get the ailing hospitality sector back on its feet.

And in a series of measures to breathe life back into the hard-hit economy:

  • Stamp duty threshold will increase from £125,000 to between £300,000 and £500,000 for six months to boost housing market;
  • A radical plan to pay the wages of up to 300,000 young people on Universal Credit if businesses agree to take them on for at least six months; 
  • A £2billion scheme to subsidise home insulation and other environmental upgrades that ministers hope will support more than 100,000 jobs; 
  • A temporary cut in VAT which is expected to be focused on struggling sectors like hospitality; 
  • Schools, hospitals and other public buildings are to get £1billion to make them greener and more energy efficient; 
  • Some £50million to fund retrofitting of social housing with insulation, double glazing and heat pumps;
  • Nature conservation schemes given £40million to plant trees, clean up rivers and create new green spaces.

Mr Sunak serving customers at a Wagamama restaurant yesterday after announcing he Eat Out To Help Out scheme

Customers plan to avoid straying beyond the £10 cap on the Chancellor's 50 per cent discount program by hopping between restaurants for each course

Customers plan to avoid straying beyond the £10 cap on the Chancellor’s 50 per cent discount program by hopping between restaurants for each course

How can a ‘safari supper’ save you money? 

STARTER – £14 

MAIN – £20 

DESSERT – £10 

Total price if you stay in same restaurant = £34 (£44-£10)

Price if you go on Safari = £22 (£7+£10+£5)

To swerve the £10 per-person cap, which will almost certainly be exceeded in higher-end establishments, diners were last night hailing ‘restaurant crawls’ and ‘safari suppers’.

One person tweeted: ‘Rishi Sunak well done the new British pub crawl is the Great British Restaurant crawl!’

‘Most main courses are towards £20, so you are encouraging a starter in restaurant 1, a main in restaurant 2 then pudding in restaurant 3. #LetsspreadCovid10’

Another had the same idea and said: ‘Time for a restaurant crawl with 3 different places for starter, main and dessert.’ 

MailOnline understands the Treasury is not planning to prevent customers enjoying so-called safari suppers because it still heralds people flocking to businesses and spending money.

One Twitter user pointed out that Amex cardholders paying at an Amex UK Shop Small restaurant vendor could get £5 back on top of the £10 discount for the Eat Out to Help Out scheme. 

Shortly after announcing his post-Covid mini-Budget to MPs in the House of Commons, Mr Sunak visited a Wagamamas, which was one of the first major chains to come on board with Eat Out To Help Out.

Diners have been planning to ways to save even more money on the Eat Out To Help Out scheme

Diners have been planning to ways to save even more money on the Eat Out To Help Out scheme

Eat Out To Help Out: How does it work and when is it being rolled out?

On Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the month of August, Britons can eat out for a discount price.

At businesses participating in the scheme, diners will receive a 50 per cent discount, up to a maximum of £10 per head.

So if a meal costs £20, the diner will get £10 off, but if a meal costs £30, the diner will still only get £10 off. 

Businesses will claim the money back from the Treasury, which is expected to spend £500million on the scheme. 

Restaurants and pubs are expected to announce their involvement over the coming weeks. 

The discount covers non-alcoholic drinks, but not booze. 

The restaurant’s flagship chicken katsu curry dish costs £10.25, but this will be reduced to £5.13 and likely cut even further to £4.36 when coupled with the 15 per cent reduction in VAT.

Junk food, which is typically at the lower end of the restaurant price range, can be snapped up for extremely low prices, sparking fears of a fast-food feeding frenzy just after Boris Johnson launched a war on obesity.

At Burger King, which has also signed up to the scheme, a Whopper meal will be reduced from £6.49 to £3.25, which will be £2.77 when 15 per cent VAT is trimmed off.

But pricier places will see customers pay far more than half-price as their total bill spirals past the government’s £10 cap.

At Cafe Concerto on Oxford Street, a lobster and beef dish costs £32.95, which will cost the diner £22.95 – or £19.50 with the VAT trim – and therefore only a third will be shaved off.    

Mr Sunak hailed the £500million scheme a ‘creative’ solution to get the restaurant trade thriving again post-lockdown.

Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday, the Chancellor said: ‘The final measure I am announcing today has never been tried in the UK before. 

‘This moment is unique. We need to be creative. So to get customers back into restaurants, cafes and pubs and protect the 1.8million people who work in them, I can announce today that for the month of August we will give everyone in the country an Eat Out To Help Out discount. 

‘Meals eaten at any participating business, Monday to Wednesday will be 50 per cent off up to a maximum discount of £10 per head for everyone, including children.

‘Businesses will need to register and can do so through a simple website open next Monday. Each week in August businesses can then claim the money back with the funds in their bank account within five working days.’ 

The Chancellor’s eye-catching food discount policy was dismissed as a ‘gimmick’ by a leading free-market think tank. 

The Chancellor delivering his summer statement to the House of Commons yesterday

The Chancellor delivering his summer statement to the House of Commons yesterday

Julian Jessop from the Institute of Economic Affairs said: ‘The Eat Out to Help Out scheme may be a gimmick too far. 

‘It is at least market-led, in that consumers themselves will decide which businesses should benefit. 

‘However, it seems an overly complicated way to deliver a boost to demand lasting just a few days in August.’

But the VAT cut was broadly welcomed by the restaurant and pub trade, which is only just reopening after three months shuttered.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality, said: ‘It is reassuring that the Chancellor singled out hospitality and tourism as a vital part of the UKs economy and a pillar of social life around the UK. 

She added: ‘This significant VAT cut, heightened ability to retain staff and incentives for consumers to eat out together amount to a huge bonus.’

Announcing the VAT reduction yesterday, Mr Sunak said: ‘At the moment VAT on hospitality and tourism is charged at 20 per cent so I have decided for the next six months to cut VAT on food, accommodation and attractions. 

‘Eat in or hot takeaway food from restaurants, cafes and pubs, accommodation in hotels, B&Bs, camp sites and caravan sites. 

‘Attractions like cinemas, theme parks and zoos. All these and more will see VAT reduced from next Wednesday until January 12 from 20 per cent to five per cent.

‘This is a £4billion catalyst for the hospitality and tourism sectors, benefiting over 150,000 businesses and consumers everywhere, all helping to protect 2.4 million jobs.’      

‘A green light for junk food’: Obesity campaigners blast Rishi Sunak’s ‘Eat Out’ scheme launched on SAME day government told Britons to lose weight or risk Covid this winter… as Burger King cuts price of Whoppers in HALF

By Dan Sales for MailOnline and John Stevens, deputy political editor for the Daily Mail

Obesity campaigners have savaged the government’s plan to offer cut-price meals branding it a ‘green light for junk food’.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced yesterday up to £10 a head will be cut off the bills of people eating out in August.

But as names like Burger King confirmed themselves as part of the scheme obesity campaigners questioned the timing of the meal deal bonus.

It came on the same day England’s deputy chief medical officer urged people to lose weight ahead of a potential second coronavirus wave in the winter.

And Prime Minister Boris Johnson had already warned the public needed to slim down to protect themselves from the virus. 

Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum, claimed it was a 'green light' to 'any old junk menu'

Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum, claimed it was a ‘green light’ to ‘any old junk menu’

Action on Sugar called for a 'joined-up policy' to promote health eating, not junk food

Action on Sugar called for a ‘joined-up policy’ to promote health eating, not junk food

Tam Fry, chairman of the National Obesity Forum said Mr Sunak’s initiative felt like the ultimate buy one, get one free deal – a type of offer previously condemned by health campaigners.

He said: ‘This looks like the mother and father of Bogofs and a green light to promote any old junk menu that the participating restaurant feels it can get away with.

‘With obesity rates ever increasing and now firmly linked to Covid-19, who wants more of the same?

‘Given a little thought Mr Sunak’s scheme to put bums on seats could have been a great idea to educate people into eating better.

‘To introduce it at such a short notice is a massively wasted opportunity.’

 Action on Sugar also laid into the Eat Out to Help Out push saying money should have been directed to a healthy eating drive.

A spokesman insisted: ‘We need joined up policy making that ensures everyone can access healthy food.

‘Discounts on unhealthy food & drink when the focus should be promoting healthy options and better labelling. ‘This could have been an opportunity to discount healthy options that would benefit everyone.’

Katharine Jenner, Nutritionist at Action on Sugar, added to the Telegraph restaurants should be urged to introduce healthier menus.

She said: ‘Encouraging overconsumption seems short-sighted considering the recent evidence which shows those living with obesity have an increased risk of adverse outcomes from Covid-19.’

Caroline Cerny, from the Obesity Health Alliance, which represents 40 health charities, medical royal colleges and campaign groups, said: ‘We hope that this financial boost to restaurants, cafes and pubs will be matched by an equal boost to our health when the Government announces new plans on obesity shortly.

‘The out-of-home sector has a key role to play in helping us all be healthier and the introduction of calorie labelling on menus and adoption of the calorie reduction targets will show they are willing to play their part in improving our nation’s health.’

It came on the same day England’s deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries said Britons could protect themselves against Covid-19 by losing weight if the disease struck again.

Dr Jenny Harries warned obesity, proven to increase the risk of coronavirus-infected patients dying, was a risk the UK could ‘do something about’ ahead of winter.

She admitted she was ‘very, very concerned’ about a the threat of second wave of the virus this winter, warning it is ‘still out there’ and Britons should keep protecting themselves.

Dr Harries said: ‘I think myself and colleagues are very, very concerned about looking out for a potential second peak as we move into the autumn.

‘And of course that’s the same time that we start having people presenting with other symptoms which could confuse people – so flu symptoms vary, obviously, and also when our hospitals get busier.

Dr Jenny Harries warned coronavirus hit obese people worse so she urged people to try and lose weight ahead of a possible second wave in the winter

Dr Jenny Harries warned coronavirus hit obese people worse so she urged people to try and lose weight ahead of a possible second wave in the winter

PM pressed for health boost for overweight

Boris Johnson announced he wanted the country to get fitter to bounce back from Coronavirus

He said Britons had to lose weight and said that only the Maltese were heavier.

The PM declared ‘My job now is to get our whole country bouncing back to health, building back to health 

‘This wonderful country of ours to other European countries, we are significantly fatter than most others – apart from the Maltese for some reason.

‘It is an issue. Everybody knows that this is a tough one.’

He also showed he was taking his fitness seriously in an interview with the Mail on Sunday when he started doing press-ups.

Mr Johnson said: ‘I’m as fit as a butcher’s dog now.

‘Do you want me to do some press-ups to show you how fit I am?’

He then proceeded to some press ups, despite being dressed in a shirt and tie.

He added: ‘The country is going to bounce forward, and I certainly feel full of beans. Never felt better.’  

‘Make yourself as fit as possible, keep practising that social distancing over the winter.’

Last month Mr Johnson  said he was planning to put the nation on a diet to help people become fighting fit ahead to tackle coronavirus.

He warned Britons were ‘significantly fatter’ than the rest of Europe and claimed only the population of Malta was more overweight. 

The Prime Minister insisted the issues were costing lives and leaving the the NHS with huge bills.

But he refused to be drawn on whether he would now back state intervention such as higher taxes or banning deals on unhealthy food.

Speaking to Times Radio, Mr Johnson he also dismissed ‘complete nonsense’ speculation that he is struggling to recover from the effects of coronavirus, saying that he had lost weight but was not ‘wraith-like’.

He said: ‘Compare I’m afraid this wonderful country of ours to other European countries, we are significantly fatter than most others – apart from the Maltese for some reason.

‘It is an issue. Everybody knows that this is a tough one.’

‘I think it matters and I don’t think politicians can treat is as irrelevant.

‘My job now is to get our whole country bouncing back to health, building back to health.’ 

Under the Mr Sunak’s scheme, Britons will get 50 per cent off the cost of most meals from Monday to Wednesday in August.

It means an £80 restaurant bill for a family of four would come to £40. But a couple spending £45 would pay £25.

Soft drinks will be included in the deal although alcohol will not.

Meals must be consumed on the premises so takeaway food won’t count. However, the Government is already making it easier for pubs, restaurants and cafes to turn pavements, terraces and even car parks into outdoor seating areas. The Eat Out to Help Out discount can be used ‘unlimited times’. 

Burger King will take part in the deal, meaning their famous Whopper burgers (pictured) will now be half price during August

Burger King will take part in the deal, meaning their famous Whopper burgers (pictured) will now be half price during August

Officials had considered dishing out vouchers to everyone, but decided it would lead to an increased risk of fraud and would take longer to administer.

Businesses will need to register on the Government website to take part, with full details due to be published next week.

Mr Sunak said yesterday: ‘This moment is unique, we need to be creative.

‘To get customers back into restaurants, cafes and pubs and protect the 1.8million people who work in them, for the month of August we will give everyone in the country an Eat Out to Help Out discount.

‘A green light for junk food’: Obesity campaigners blast Eat Out to Help Out scheme

Obesity campaigners have savaged the government’s plan to offer cut-price meals branding it a ‘green light for junk food’.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced yesterday up to £10 a head will be cut off the bills of people eating out in August.

But as names like Burger King confirmed themselves as part of the scheme obesity campaigners questioned the timing of the meal deal bonus.

It came on the same day England’s deputy chief medical officer urged people to lose weight ahead of a potential second coronavirus wave in the winter.

And Prime Minister Boris Johnson had already warned the public needed to slim down to protect themselves from the virus.

Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum, claimed it was a ‘green light’ to ‘any old junk menu’

Action on Sugar called for a 'joined-up policy' to promote health eating, not junk food

Action on Sugar called for a ‘joined-up policy’ to promote health eating, not junk food

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the deal to try and stimulate the economy

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the deal to try and stimulate the economy

Tam Fry, chairman of the National Obesity Forum said Mr Sunak’s initiative felt like the ultimate buy one, get one free deal – a type of offer previously condemned by health campaigners.

He said: ‘This looks like the mother and father of Bogofs and a green light to promote any old junk menu that the participating restaurant feels it can get away with.

‘With obesity rates ever increasing and now firmly linked to Covid-19, who wants more of the same?’

Action on Sugar also laid into the Eat Out to Help Out push saying money should have been directed to a healthy eating drive.

A spokesman insisted: ‘We need joined up policy making that ensures everyone can access healthy food.

‘Discounts on unhealthy food & drink when the focus should be promoting healthy options and better labelling. ‘This could have been an opportunity to discount healthy options that would benefit everyone.’

Dr Jenny Harries warned coronavirus hit obese people worse so she urged people to try and lose weight ahead of a possible second wave in the winter

Dr Jenny Harries warned coronavirus hit obese people worse so she urged people to try and lose weight ahead of a possible second wave in the winter

It came on the same day England’s deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries said Britons could protect themselves against Covid-19 by losing weight if the disease struck again.

Dr Jenny Harries warned obesity, proven to increase the risk of coronavirus-infected patients dying, was a risk the UK could ‘do something about’ ahead of winter.

She admitted she was ‘very, very concerned’ about a the threat of second wave of the virus this winter, warning it is ‘still out there’ and Britons should keep protecting themselves.

Fast food chains offering burgers and chips have confirmed they will be part of the deal

Fast food chains offering burgers and chips have confirmed they will be part of the deal

Campaigners fear the offer could spark unhealthy food choices when obesity is a problem

Campaigners fear the offer could spark unhealthy food choices when obesity is a problem

Dr Harries said: ‘I think myself and colleagues are very, very concerned about looking out for a potential second peak as we move into the autumn.

‘And of course that’s the same time that we start having people presenting with other symptoms which could confuse people – so flu symptoms vary, obviously, and also when our hospitals get busier.

‘Make yourself as fit as possible, keep practising that social distancing over the winter.’

Under the scheme, Britons will get 50 per cent off the cost of most meals from Monday to Wednesday. It means an £80 restaurant bill for a family of four would come to £40. But a couple spending £45 would pay £25.

Soft drinks will be included in the deal although alcohol will not.

Meals must be consumed on the premises so takeaway food won’t count. However, the Government is already making it easier for pubs, restaurants and cafes to turn pavements, terraces and even car parks into outdoor seating areas. The Eat Out to Help Out discount can be used ‘unlimited times’.

Officials had considered dishing out vouchers to everyone, but decided it would lead to an increased risk of fraud and would take longer to administer.

Businesses will need to register on the Government website to take part, with full details due to be published next week.

Mr Sunak said yesterday: ‘This moment is unique, we need to be creative.

‘To get customers back into restaurants, cafes and pubs and protect the 1.8million people who work in them, for the month of August we will give everyone in the country an Eat Out to Help Out discount.’

Rishi Sunak admits jobs WILL be lost despite huge mini-Budget bailout

Rishi Sunak admits jobs WILL be lost despite latest massive ‘mini-Budget’ bailout as he begs Britons to ‘relearn’ the habits of eating out and dismisses claims his ‘bonus’ for firms bring back furloughed staff is a £9bn gimmick

Rishi Sunak today admitted jobs will be lost despite his latest massive mini-Budget ‘bailout’ as he begged Britons to ‘relearn’ the habits of eating out and shopping as lockdown eases.

The Chancellor defended the huge package amid criticism it is poorly targeted and does not go far enough, insisting a £1,000 bonus for businesses who bring back staff from furlough will make a ‘big difference’.

In a round of broadcast interviews, he warned the UK was living in a time of ‘unprecedented economic uncertainty’ and the country is headed for a ‘very significant recession’ – but it is too early to say how bad it will be.

Mr Sunak admitted the government was borrowing an ‘extraordinary’ amount of money to fund the huge effort to stimulate the economy.  

But he insisted: ‘The cost of not acting in this way would be far greater in the long term.’ 

Mr Sunak said: ‘We’ve moved through the acute phase of the crisis where large swathes of the economy were closed. 

‘We’re now fortunately able to safely reopen parts of our economy, that’s the most important thing that we can do to get things going. 

In a round of broadcast interviews today, Rishi Sunak warned the UK was living in a time of ‘unprecedented economic uncertainty’ and the country is headed for a ‘very significant recession’ – but it is too early to say how bad it will be

‘But we won’t know the exact shape of that recovery for a little while – how will people respond to the new freedoms of being able to go out and about again. 

‘We have to rediscover behaviours that we’ve essentially unlearned over the last few months. 

‘But unless activity returns to normal, those jobs are at risk of going which is why we acted in the way that we did.’ 

Mr Sunak made another extraordinary bid to revive the economy yesterday by pledging to subsidise meals out, hand £9billion in ‘bonuses’ to firms who bring back furloughed staff, and cuts to VAT and stamp duty – but hinted at a tax and spend reckoning to come.

At a pivotal moment in the coronavirus crisis, the Chancellor admitted that ‘hardship lies ahead’ but he was ditching ‘dogma’ to ‘do what is right’ with a £30billion package – on top of the staggering £280billion already splashed out – as the country ‘opens up’ from lockdown.

In an unprecedented move, he said the government will fund up to 50 per cent of people’s meals out at struggling restaurants from Monday to Wednesday, to a maximum of £10 per head.

The jobs bonus was the biggest ticket item in the £30billion package announced today – which comes on top of the £160billion already pumped into the economy by the government

Including loans and other guarantees, the government had committed £280billion before the latest £30billion package

Including loans and other guarantees, the government had committed £280billion before the latest £30billion package

Every business that brings back one of the 9million furloughed employees on a decent wage and keeps them on the books until January will also get £1,000.

VAT is being slashed from 20 per cent to 5 per cent for the hospitality industry until January in another huge intervention – and stamp duty is being axed on all homes worth up to £500,000 until March.

There is also a £2billion ‘kickstarter’ scheme to pay wages for young people, with Mr Sunak saying one of his main fears is that the meltdown will result in a ‘generation left behind’. Huge subsidies are being offered to insulate and make 650,000 homes more environmentally friendly.

The extraordinary cash splashing received broad support from the hospitality sector, although there were doubts over how effective the expensive jobs guarantees will prove and whether a stamp duty cut will merely ‘front load’ activity.

However, Mr Sunak made clear the largesse cannot continue much longer amid growing Tory anxiety about the scale of the debt being racked up by the government. 

There are warnings that if interest rates rise even modestly servicing the £2trillion-plus debt pile could cost more than the defence and education budgets put together.

Including loans and other guarantees, the government has now committed over £310billion, while the Bank of England has also expanded its quantitative easing programme – effectively printing more money – by £300billion this year.

Pressed by Conservative MPs in the Commons yesterday, Mr Sunak that while he was acting now to prevent ‘scarring’ of the economy, ‘once we get through this crisis we must retain and sustain public finances’.