The government is expanding access to weight loss services and may start offering people financial rewards for maintaining a healthy lifestyle as part of the fight against obesity.
The Department of Health and Social Care is giving the NHS and local councils in England £70m to pay for up to 700,000 overweight or obese people to go on weight management courses, such as those provided by Weight Watchers or Slimming World, or work with a personal coach to help them shed unwanted pounds.
In addition, it has asked Sir Keith Mills, the creator of the Nectar and air miles reward schemes, to look into whether financial incentives would motivate people to eat better and exercise more.
He will look at whether initiatives such as the national step challenge in Singapore could work in England. Citizens are offered cash payments if they do a certain amount of physical activity, such as walking and running, and their progress is measured through wearable devices.
In a video posted to Twitter on Thursday, Mr Johnson said he is “doing all I can to lose weight”, which has involved early-morning runs and fewer carbohydrates, avoiding chocolate and steering clear of “late-night cheese” snacks.
“I’ve been doing a lot, in fact, everything I can, to lose weight and to feel fitter and healthier,” Mr Johnson said.
“The result is I actually have lost some weight, quite a lot by my standards, and I feel much more energetic, I feel full of beans and I thoroughly, thoroughly recommend it,” he said.
Downing Street has suggested that Mr Johnson has lost around a stone, with Press Secretary Allegra Stratton saying: “I think it’s 14 pounds he has lost, which is a stone. I think he might have lost a bit more than that, I think he is being modest,” according to PA. “He takes his diet very seriously,” she said.