"Boris Johnson's NHS bike scheme will never lower obesity," insists caller

28 July 2020, 15:35 | Updated: 28 July 2020, 15:38

By Fiona Jones

This caller Michael explains why Boris Johnson's anti-obesity drive "makes no sense whatsoever" and will never lessen the UK's waistline.

Overweight people will be given access to bikes on the NHS in a new plan by the Government to tackle the nation's obesity crisis, after a Public Health England study found that medically obese people are 40% more likely to die from Covid-19.

GPs in areas of England with poor health will be encouraged to prescribe cycling and patients will be able to access bikes through their surgery.

Explained: Boris Johnson's national plan for tackling obesity

This cyclist Michael told Shelagh Fogarty that this scheme "makes no sense whatsoever" and questioned "who is advising Boris Johnson on these ideas?"

He said while it is great for the environment it will do nothing to tackle obesity: "You have so many trainers and so many programmes out there...at the end of the day, it's simple maths, it's calorie deficit."

Essentially, the only way to lose weight is to eat less calories than you burn.

He said that if a pizza is 2500 calories and someone is supposed to have 1800 calories intake a day to lose weight, it does not matter how much one cycles, they will never cycle that intensely long enough to burn off the pizza.

Michael said the Government are "trying to do the right thing but I think they're misguided" because people that are struggling with their weight might start cycling but then might eat an extra burger or have an extra pint as a reward.

"When you don't understand the numbers behind all of this, you're not making any difference and in some situations you're making it worse," he told Shelagh.

He emphasised that education about calories is much, much more important than making cycling available on NHS.