U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has blamed his hospitalization with coronavirus on his obesity, according to the London Times. Johnson was admitted to intensive care during his battle with coronavirus, where he says things got so bad that doctors were ready to announce his death, as The Inquisitr previously reported. Now, his health battle has apparently convinced him to make some life changes – and changes in the United Kingdom.
Johnson has famously been against “nanny state” intervention, but he has recently been overheard saying that obesity is potentially life-threatening in the age of COVID-19, and the British people need to address their weight more aggressively.
“I’ve changed my mind on this. We need to be much more interventionist,” he said of the obesity epidemic.
When he was admitted to the hospital, Johnson weighed 17 and a half stone, he said. That’s 245 pounds on his 5 foot 9 inch frame, putting his body mass index at around 36, well into the obesity category. For his height, a healthy weight would be somewhere between 130-170 pounds.
Johnson spent several days in intensive care and a week in the hospital in London, where he was forced to receive oxygen to support his breathing. Since leaving the hospital, he has dropped about 14 pounds. But with a COVID-19 vaccine still months away, Johnson believes that the country will need to tackle the crisis.
“This virus is here to stay and we’re going to have to live with it. If obesity is the biggest driver after age, we need to be doing more right now to deal with it.”
He has been overheard remarking to friends that he believes the virus isn’t such a big deal for those who are a healthier weight.
Research indicates that those with obesity are at double the risk of being admitted to intensive care than those who weigh less. A third of adults in the United Kingdom are classified as obese.
“The government is rapidly coming to the conclusion that one of the main reasons why the UK has been so hard hit by this virus is how obese the population is. Obesity is the second biggest coronavirus risk factor, after age, and more than a quarter of Brits are obese. In South Korea, the country that has handled the disease best, only 6 percent of people are,” the Times reported.
To tackle the problem, Johnson is reportedly planning to encourage people to be more active and healthier. He wants to see people bicycle to work more often.