Weight-loss drugs arent a magic bullet for Britains obesity crisis
Its over three years now since a visibly chastened Boris Johnson emerged from his near-fatal brush with Covid to declare that he had seen the light.
He had, he said candidly, been way overweight when he got the virus and only now did he understand how vulnerable that had made him; so now he stood before us a changed man. There would be no more scoffing at Jamie Oliver, no more chuntering about nanny statism; instead, he promised not just a ban on junk food advertising or (yet another) national obesity strategy, but what looked positively like a national crusade, led by a prime minister whod had his own battles with cheese and chorizo and wasnt going to judge anyone else for raiding the fridge late at night.
And just for a moment it felt as if this might be his one useful contribution to public life; that paunchy, middle-aged men everywhere who hate being nudged to eat more salad might listen to him. (Almost two-thirds of British adults are either obese or overweight now, and for all the gimlet-eyed policing of womens bodies, its men who are most likely to have piled on extra pounds.) The nation could have counted calories alongside him like a kind of giant communal Weight Watchers class, knowing we werent alone in occasionally falling off the wagon into a bowl of chips, and feeling supported to climb back up again. But as so often with Johnson, he said it and then seemingly clean forgot about it. And Britain did not build back fitter: quite the reverse.