23:57 GMT15 June 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The UK government on Monday has launched a new program to reduce obesity in the country in order to prevent additional deaths from the coronavirus disease and ease pressure on the National Health Service (NHS).

    “If we all do our bit, we can reduce our health risks and protect ourselves against coronavirus – as well as taking pressure off the NHS,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in the press release.

    According to a government press release, the measures will include a ban on commercials for foods high in sugar, salt or fat before 21:00 [20:00 GMT], restricting the types of food that can be included in “buy one get one free” offers, and forcing the producers of alcoholic beverages to include calorie labelling.

    Approximately 63 percent of adults in England are either overweight or obese, the government said. Overweight and obese people are more likely to become seriously ill with COVID-19 than the general population, according to the press release.

    Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 11, 2020
    © REUTERS / Simon Dawson
    The government will also consider whether to extend the ban on commercials for unhealthy food to cover online platforms as well, according to domestic media reports.

    The latest initiative comes as the UK continues to tackle one of the world’s most severe outbreaks of COVID-19. The country has the third-highest death toll worldwide as 45,752 people have died as of Sunday, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.

    Tags:
    obesity, coronavirus, COVID-19, government, U.K
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