One serious issue that has been highlighted by the pandemic is how British health has been allowed to deteriorate to dangerous levels. According to the UN ¼ of adults in the UK are obese (with many more being deemed overweight) and obesity levels have more than trebled in the last 30 years and more than half the population could be obese by 2050. That is both shocking and alarming. It’s very probable that the UK’s poor health has contributed to our grossly inflated death rate of 1,783 per million which is the third highest in the world. Studies have shown that fat people were 113% more likely than people of a healthy weight to be hospitalised due to Covid-19, 74% more likely to be admitted to an ICU, and 48% more likely to die. This harsh reality demonstrates how the government needs to do far more to encourage or subtly force people to be healthier. This could be achieved through better nutritional education in school, cookery lessons, an official list of foods to eat and in what proportion or following on from the sugar tax introduced in 2018, the government could tax all unhealthy foods (such as Subway bread which is legally defined as cake due to its high sugar content) to the point where the healthy alternative is cheaper. This last policy would probably be the most effective, as for many trying to eat healthier, cost is the biggest hurdle and if this was removed many more would hopefully do so. Furthermore, it would also act as an incentive to encourage companies to make their food healthier to avoid the tax. This would spell the end of McDonald’s, KFC’s, etc. domination of the takeaway sector and would allow local healthy takeaways to establish themselves.
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