This is the fourth in a series of me looking at how we can make London a world class city once again and this week, I’ll be focussing on the health of our great city.
Britain is facing an obesity crisis and is now considered to be the “fat man of Europe”. Obesity in the UK has increased by 92% since the 1990s, and such is the scale of the problem that there are genuine fears it could bankrupt the NHS.
The last chief executive of NHS England Simon Stevens, warned that:
“Obesity is the new smoking, and it represents a slow-motion car crash in terms of avoidable illness and rising health care costs.”
It’s clear to me that we must get London to improve its physical health, but in order to do that we need to ensure people feel safe to exercise. Since the government closed gyms and health centres, the fitness sector has struggled to recover, with the latest statistics from the FT suggesting gym capacity is around 29% of pre-lockdown levels and one fifth of memberships have been cancelled in the past month.
I think it’s vitally important that we get Britain and London and back into gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools as quickly as possible, otherwise we risk facing an even greater health risk than that of the pandemic.
This week I’m particularly keen to hear your thoughts on:
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