Cardiovascular expert urges "fat people to take coronavirus seriously"

24 July 2020, 15:58

By Fiona Jones

This cardiovascular scientists urges "fat people to take coronavirus seriously" - he cited the "grossly overweight" Boris Johnson who experienced more severe symptoms than his colleagues.

The Prime Minister is set to announce new measures in a bid to curb obesity next week, amid growing evidence people who are overweight are at greater risk of contracting coronavirus.

Regulations are expected to include a ban on TV junk food adverts before 9pm and online adverts for unhealthy food.

Chair of Action on Sugar and Action on Salt Professor Graham McGregor welcomed the obesity plan as the UK is "one of the fattest nations in Europe and it's a huge problem."

"As seen with Boris Johnson who is quite overweight, he has a BMI of 36, [he developed] more severe symptoms of Covid-19 and [was] more likely to die," Professor McGregor said, urging overweight people to "take it very seriously."

"Boris Johnson's BMI was reported at 36, gross obesity is 40 so you can't get away from that that he is grossly overweight and he realises that."

Obese male with belly
Obese male with belly. Picture: Getty

While BMI is one way of tracking health, Professor McGregor said the best measure of fatness is "to jump up and down in front of a mirror and if it wobbles and it's not two organs on a female and one on a male, you're fat."

He remarked that most people who are obese are that way because of the food industry "feeding us rubbish...that's designed to make you fat" thereby is partly responsible for Covid-19 deaths.

Shelagh countered that a representative of the Food and Drink Association had earlier responded to this point that scientists cannot just blame the industry.

Professor McGregor did not agree with the representative at all, "The point is if you look at the sort of foods that make people fat, hamburgers, chicken takeaways, Turkish kebabs, dips and chips and tomato ketchup. We all know that they are food that make people fat."

"The food industry can make healthy food with lots of fruit and vegetables, less salt, less fat, less sugar and promote those. We'd all be living much longer and we wouldn't be so subjected to the dangers of Covid-19 infection," Professor Graham McGregor.