Beer and wine could have to list health warnings as part of new obesity crackdown


BEER and wine bottles could have to list health warnings and calories on them as part of the nation’s obesity crackdown, it was confirmed today.

Ministers will consult on whether to force booze producers to whack on extra labels to crack down on Britain’s weight problem.

Beer and wine could have calorie labels and health warnings slapped on them

The PM has today launched an obesity strategy to help Brits lose those lockdown pounds and get everyone fighting fit to defeat Covid-19.

The strategy – released in full today – reveals that a final decision will be made before the end of the year.

It said: “We will consult before the end of the year on our intention to make companies provide calorie labelling on all pre-packaged alcohol they sell, so when consumers shop for alcohol, they have all the information they need to make healthier choices.

“The consultation will also cover introducing calorie labelling on alcoholic drinks sold in the out-of-home sector, for example bought on draught or by the glass, as we have done with our measures on food and non-alcoholic drink.”

As part of that it will:

  • Ban Buy One Get One Free deals on unhealthy food with high amounts of salt, sugar and fat in
  • Stop such foods from being promoted at the ends of aisles and at checkouts
  • Calories will have to slapped on menus for larger businesses to make Brits aware of what they are eating
  • Junk food ads will be banned online and before the watershed – and could be scrapped altogether
  • Exercise will be prescribed by doctors – and Brits can get WeightWatchers deals too to help them shift pounds

The document shows adults are eating 200 to 300 more calories a day than they need.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said today that if every person lost just 5lbs, it could save the NHS £100billion.

Mr Hancock explained being overweight put enormous pressure on the NHS, and getting fitter could boost the nation’s health and finances.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Mr Hancock said: “This deadly virus has given us a wake-up call about the need to tackle the stark inequalities in our nation’s health, and obesity is an urgent example of this.

“If everyone who is overweight lost five pounds it could save the NHS more than £100million over the next five years. And more importantly, given the link between obesity and coronavirus, losing weight could be life-saving.

“Obesity is one of the greatest longterm health challenges that we face as a country.

“It not only puts a strain on our NHS and care system, but it also piles pressure on our bodies, making us more vulnerable to many diseases including, of course, coronavirus.”

In a video today Boris Johnson admitted “I was too fat” and that he’s lost at least a stone on his new diet, which he embarked on since recovering from coronavirus.

The PM believes his weight was a huge factor in why he was taken so ill with the virus.

He said: “When I went into ICU, when I was really ill, I was way overweight.

“I’m only about 5 foot 10, and you know, at the outside, and you know I was too fat.”

BoJo spent three nights in intensive care during his battle with coronavirus and has now lost more than a stone, having previously hit 17st.

Children who are already overweight are eating 500 calories a day too many.

Health charities last night welcomed the “world-leading” plans.

Matt Hancock says losing 5lbs could save the NHS billions
Boris out for a walk with his dog today to promote the new obesity strategy

But critics said it will push up food prices and see cash-strapped families losing out on supermarket bargains.

Evidence of a link between obesity and increased risk from Covid was a “wake-up call” to ministers.

PHE chief nutritionist Dr Alison Tedstone said: “These bold measures will help us tip the scales on obesity.”

But Tim Rycroft, of the Food and Drink Federation, said ministers should promote fruit and veg instead of banning offers.