Stroud's MP Siobhan Baillie has praised the Government's plans to tackle obesity.

In a statement, Ms Baillie said:

I welcome the Government’s plans to help people improve their health. I have been campaigning to improve obesity policy and I very much agree with the British Medical Association who would like to see them implemented as quickly as possible.

This country is facing a health crisis made worse by coronavirus. All studies show that those who are obese or overweight are much more likely to suffer far more serious problems with Covid-19.

Health issues caused by weight problems are increasing every year. Approximately 67% of men, 60% of women and 28% of children are obese in England. So while I understand arguments about the ’nanny state’ interfering with personal choices, it cannot be business as usual in relation to obesity policy.

Trying to tackle weight issues can be one of the hardest personal battles to fight. It is draining, often lonely and there are no easy answers. Pressures in society and on social media, plus the mental health aspect of being overweight are also often overlooked.

The rise of takeaways, fast food advertising, the relative cheapness of high fat food and supermarket offers have all played into this crisis as well as people’s own choices.

We need to be fitter and thinner, and not just for our own health. Obesity is costing the NHS around £6 billion a year. Gloucestershire health experts wrote to me to ask for support in this area and I am pleased I got involved.

Proposals to ban fast food advertisements before 9pm is therefore good as are plans to make calories of food more transparent, banning 2 for 1 deals on junk food and GPs being given more support to help people. There will also be consultations on other measures so the public can have their say.

Everybody deserves to have the opportunity to be healthy so the government doing what it can to make it easier to create a healthier lifestyle is a positive step.