Poverty causes obesity. Low-income families need to be better off to eat well

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Bans on junk food ads and five-a-day advice miss the point. To cut obesity people need support and jobs

Boris Johnson has made obesity a political issue. The prime minister accepts that one of the reasons he nearly died from Covid-19 was that he was carrying too many pounds.

Johnson is not the first prime minister to “declare war” on obesity. In recent decades there have been plenty of campaigns designed to make people exercise more and eat more healthily. There have been exhortations to eat five a day, sugar taxes, bans on the advertising of junk food, but none of them have made a difference. Obesity levels in England have doubled in the past quarter of a century.

Related: No 10 plans weight loss drive to ready UK for expected Covid-19 second wave

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