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UK's Johnson gives up 'late-night cheese,' believes weight contributed to COVID-19 stay in ICU

UK's Johnson gives up 'late-night cheese,' believes weight contributed to COVID-19 stay in ICU

Boris Johnson revealed on Thursday that he’s been cutting out carbs and “late night cheese” in an effort to lose weight, something the U.K. prime minister's spokesperson said he believes contributed to a stay in intensive care last year for treatment of COVID-19.

“I’ve been doing a lot, in fact everything I can, to lose weight and to feel fitter and healthier, and what I’ve been doing is I’ve been eating less carbs, avoiding chocolate, no more late night cheese, all that kind of thing. I’ve been getting up early to go for runs, and the result is, you know, I actually have lost some weight, quite a lot by my standards, and I feel much more energetic,” Johnson said in a video as the British government rolled out a program to help residents reach health goals. 

“I feel full of beans, and I thoroughly, thoroughly recommend it. And I know there are many people who are in the same sort of position as I am, and I was and who want to lose weight,” he continued.

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Johnson’s press secretary, Allegra Stratton, told reporters on Thursday that the prime minister has lost approximately 14 pounds, Bloomberg News reported. She added that he is taking weight loss “very seriously” because he believes being overweight played a role in his requiring intensive care for treatment in a London hospital.

Johnson was hospitalized for several days after testing positive for coronavirus last March.

Individuals with certain medical conditions, including obesity, cancer and heart problems, are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. 

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Johnson in the video shared Thursday touted the Britain’s 100 million pound, or approximately $140 million, investment to help the nation's residents lose weight.

The U.K.’s Department of Health and Social Care confirmed in a Thursday statement that more than 70 million pounds will “be invested into weight management services,” giving approximately 700,000 adults access to services to help them lose weight, including digital apps, weight management groups and other medical resources.

The government will also fund access to a 12-week weight loss plan app run by the country’s National Health Service, in addition to other initiatives.

“We’ll not be not just fitter, but also healthier and happier and we’ll bounce back better together,” Johnson said in the Thursday video.