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Obesity is one of the greatest long term health challenges that we face as a country.

It not only puts a strain on our NHS and care system, but it also piles pressure on our bodies, making us more vulnerable to many diseases, including of course coronavirus.

The latest research shows that if you have a BMI of between 30 and 35 your risk of death from coronavirus goes up by at least a quarter.

And that nearly 8 per cent of critically ill patients with coronavirus in intensive care are morbidly obese compared at around 3 per cent of the country as a whole.

This deadly virus has given us a wake-up call about the need to tackle the stark inequalities in our nation’s health, and obesity is an urgent example of this.

We’ve already done lots of work on this front, like cutting sugar in soft drinks and giving extra support for the NHS work on diabetes.

But we know that we need to go further.

On Monday, we have publish a new strategy setting out clearly how we will tackle obesity in England.

Read Matt Hancock’s full comment piece

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