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British PM Boris Johnson says COVID-19 struggle was worsened by obesity

By Jean Lotus
British PM Boris Johnson says COVID-19 struggle was worsened by obesity
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a nationwide campaign against obesity Monday and revealed he was trying to lose weight after realizing that overweight was a factor in his April hospitalization with COVID-19. File Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo

July 27 (UPI) -- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson kicked off a nationwide initiative against obesity Monday by saying his own hospitalization after a coronavirus infection was made worse by being overweight.

"I was too fat," Johnson said in a video posted on his Twitter account. "When I went into the ICU I was way, way overweight," he said.

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Johnson said since he was hospitalized for COVID-19 and has begun a regimen of running with his dog in the morning, he has lost at least 14 lbs. Johnson said he was "like many people" who struggled with his weight.

A nationwide campaign to lose weight will make British citizens reduce health risks that could make infections from COVID-19 worse and put less pressure on the National Health Service, Johnson said.

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An online 12-week plan and app rolled out by the NHS includes a BMI calculator and healthy eating guidelines, as well as a risk calculator for type 2 diabetes.

Johnson spent three days in the intensive care unit of St. Thomas' Hospital in London during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic in April after he was diagnosed with the virus, but was never attached to a ventilator.

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The British government reported 300,111 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Monday with 45,759 deaths. The daily total of new cases was 685, down from a high of more than 5,200 per day in April and May.

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