MORE THAN half of adults in Oxfordshire are overweight or obese, figures reveal, as the Government launches a strategy to slim down the nation's waistlines.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson – who says he struggles with his own weight – has announced a range of measures to help people shed the pounds, including a ban on some junk food promotions and stricter advertising controls.

It comes after a Public Health England report found being overweight or obese can dramatically increase the risk of being admitted to hospital or dying from Covid-19.

PHE figures show 55 per cent of adults in Oxfordshire were classed as overweight or obese in 2018-19, the latest period for which data is available.

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However, this was still below the average of 61 per cent across the South East – it was also lower than the England average of 62 per cent.

Separate PHE figures show that 19 per cent of children aged four to five years old in Oxfordshire were overweight or obese in the 2018-19 academic year.

The Prime Minister’s obesity strategy includes:

  • Barring shops from pushing 'buy one, get one free' promotions on unhealthy products
  • Ending junk food adverts on television and online before the 9pm watershed
  • Forcing restaurants and takeaways with more than 250 employees to add calorie labels to menus
  • Expanding NHS weight management services and its Diabetes Prevention Programme

Mr Johnson said: “Losing weight is hard but with some small changes we can all feel fitter and healthier.

“If we all do our bit, we can reduce our health risks and protect ourselves against coronavirus – as well as taking pressure off the NHS.”