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Covid scare made me realise I was too fat, says Boris

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Photo: PA

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Photo: PA

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Photo: PA

Boris Johnson admitted he was "too fat" and struggled with his weight as he spoke about how his Covid-19 scare made him get fitter and lose a stone.

While promoting a new anti-obesity strategy, the British prime minister revealed he had been "way overweight" when he was taken into intensive care in London in April after contracting Covid-19.

The obesity strategy bans advertising of unhealthy food online and on UK TV before 9pm, and prohibits "buy one, get one free" deals on chocolate and crisps.

Doctors' surgeries will have "weight-loss coaches" trained to persuade people to change their diets, with GPs rewarded with extra pay if they prescribe diet and exercise.

Mr Johnson (56), who weighed more than 17 stone when he was taken to hospital, spoke candidly about his own weight difficulties. He said: "I've always wanted to lose weight for ages and, I think like many people, I struggle with my weight - I go up and down. But since I recovered from coronavirus, I've been steadily building up my fitness."

He said he started the day now with a run with his dog, Dilyn: "The great thing about going for a run at the beginning of the day is that nothing can be worse for the rest of the day. If you really go in hard... the rest of the day will be a breeze."

Mr Johnson said losing weight and taking more exercise meant you "feel more full of energy" as well as boosting your health.

Britain is the second fattest country in Europe, with two out of three adults overweight or obese. Only Malta's obesity rate is higher.

Mr Johnson said the Better Health strategy aimed to help people, but "not in an excessively bossy or nannying way, I hope". (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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