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Big Macs, Domino’s pizzas and Greggs bakes could get smaller as part of crackdown on UK obesity crisis

Everything you need to know…



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Public Health England has asked the food industry to ‘voluntarily’ cut calories on fast food items, which could mean the Big Mac will be 20% smaller. 

McDonald’s won’t be the only chain that could be affected by PHE’s new rules. Domino’s pizzas, a portion of fish and chips and even Greggs bakes could be affected in the shakeup.

Calories would be reduced by 20% in fast food and by 10% in children’s food bundles such as ready meals.

The 20% calorie reduction would see the Big Mac drop from 508 calories currently to 407. 

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Similarly, a pepperoni pizza from Domino’s would become 1,982 calories in the plans, reduced from the existing 2,478 – which is 478 calories over the entire recommended daily intake for women. 

Pizzas regularly contain more calories than the recommended daily intake and so were singled out in the scheme by PHE. 

Savoury snacks such as sandwiches and crisps would also see a calorie reduction of 5% under the new scheme. 

The government is also set to recommend a plan to help reduce people’s salt intake as many are having 8.5g a day, exceeding the 6g limit. 

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Public Health Minister Jo Churchill told The Sun: “We can all do our bit to stay healthy, to help protect us from coronavirus and take pressure off the NHS.

“The food industry can play their part, by making it as easy as possible for everyone to eat more healthily. These guidelines will help them take positive action.

Chief nutritionist for PHE, Dr Alison Tedstone added: “Eating food and drink that’s higher in calories than people realise is one of the reasons why many of us are either overweight or obese.

“This is about broadening choice for consumers, as well as making the healthier choice the easy choice. Progress to date on sugar and salt reduction has shown that this can happen without compromising on taste and quality.”


Obesity costs the NHS £6.1 billion a year, with 28.7% of adults in England being classed as obese and 35.6% classed as overweight.

Dr Hilary Jones spoke about Britain’s health crisis on Good Morning Britain, warning that the issue needed support and motivation rather than humiliation. 

Hilary said: “People who are overweight or obese need GP support, but unless you address the issue in the first place and weigh them, you can’t give that support.

“The conversation has to take place, it has to be honest, it has to be frank and it has to be non-judgemental.

“Support services need to be there, but when £65million is being spent by social services in terms of bariatric equipment, such reinforced beds, heavy-duty wheelchairs, it’s something that needs to be solved because the NHS can’t afford it.”


This follows recent headlines which saw a suggestion from the National Obesity Forum to weigh children in schools from September to ensure children are ‘losing lockdown weight’.

The National Child Measurement Programme weighs and measures children at school and passes the information onto the NHS to ‘plan and provide better health services for children’.

Parents will receive a letter from local authorities which will provide more information on whether your child will be weighed and measured. 

The information will compare children’s weight with their age, height and sex, using the controversial BMI measurement tool. 

The proposal was met with swift backlash. 

Many people explained that weighing children will do more harm than good and will damage the mental health of youngsters. 

Claire Mysko, CEO of the National Eating Disorder Associated, explains that BMI and weight are not holistic measures of health.

While the Centres For Disease Control and Prevention neither recommends for or against the use of the Body Mass Index measurement programme it says that pupils should be in a ‘safe and supportive environment for students of all bodies sizes’.

Adding to this, the CDC explains that there is no conclusive evidence that such programmes are effective in improving health in children. 

Mysko explains that tests can lead to bullying, shame and even disordered eating. Adding that schools should prioritise what makes children feel happy and strong, not encouraging them to fixate on what they look like or numbers on a scale. 

A spokesperson for the government programme told Refinery29: “We are also well known for pointing out that zoos measure their animals annually to check their good health, but our children, the country’s future, are ignored!” 

Mysko responded to this saying comparing children to zoo animals was ‘unhelpful and bizarre’.

She added: “We know that weight and BMI are not accurate measures of health and while we do need screenings in schools for a variety of issues, including eating disorders, and we need to be mindful and vigilant about ensuring that we’re measuring the health of kids.

“Weight and BMI are not what we should be looking at.” She adds that the onus of health shouldn’t be placed on an individual, especially a child.

“This is a systemic problem, not an individual issue, many people in our community who have struggled with eating disorders or who are in higher weight bodies have been subjected to years or lifetimes of diets and harmful weight loss programs, all built on the assumption that an individual can control their weight or environment, which isn’t a helpful or accurate way of framing the discussion.” 

Mysko explains that while Covid-19 has ‘serious life-threatening complications’ we mustn’t forget ‘mental health’ of children. She added that we ‘need to look at the risks of shaming kids for their body size in an environment where there are already so many mental health risks’.

Explaining that children have little control over their environment, what they eat and their ability to exercise, Mysko adds: “We need to be supporting kids now more than ever.”


Drivers could soon be fined for parking on the pavement under new rules

Make sure you’re aware of the proposed rule changes



Jaggery / Geograph

A ban on parking on the pavement could soon be implemented across England, under new laws which are expected to be rolled out this year.

Parking on pavements would be a thing of the past, with £70 penalty fines for offenders coming into effect under the proposed new rules.

According to reports, the new legislation would see a ban on antisocial parking introduced, in a bid to make pavements safer for people with disabilities and visual impairments, as well as families.

The changes to the law which are being considered have already been implemented in London and would be rolled out nationwide.

They come in response to complaints about pavement parking and the risks it brings with it to those whose use pavements, with the Department for Transport (DfT) initially launching a proposal on the subject in September 2020.

The proposals came after a review discovered that almost half of wheelchair users and a third of visually impaired people were less willing to go out on the streets alone due to ‘antisocial’ parking on the pavement.

A spokeswoman from the DfT explained to The Mirror that the government is currently collating responses after receiving ‘overwhelming’ feedback.

The public consultation period for the proposals ended back on November 22nd, and as such a decision on the plan is expected imminently.

Jaggery / Geograph

However, Mark Tongue, director of Select Car Leasing has said that ‘the guidelines are currently quite confusing for motorists’.

The motoring company conducted a report which discovered that local authorities would have the power to dish out £70 fines if a vehicle was considered an obstruction, even if it was parked outside the driver’s house.

Mr Tongue said: “A pavement parking ban is 100% needed nationwide – anything that puts pedestrians at an increased risk requires action.

“However, the information given so far is slightly confusing for drivers. At the moment, there’s no clear guidelines for those who park on the pavement due to having no room on their own drive. Most households have more than one car, so it will be interesting to see where motorists are expected to park if not on the pavement outside their homes.

“Clear guidance is required for drivers so they know the correct location to park in order to avoid a fine.”

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Operation Forth Bridge: the full plan for what happens next after Prince Philip’s death

Buckingham Palace confirmed the sad news of his passing earlier today



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Buckingham Palace announced this afternoon that HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh has died.

The 99-year-old, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday in June, passed away peacefully at Windsor Castle this morning, Friday April 9th.

Buckingham Palace said: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.

“Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”

There were already strict procedures put in place for when Prince Philip died, which have now begun, and they’re known as Operation Forth Bridge.

According to the plan there are several steps that need to be followed, including everything from national mourning to a burial site for the Duke.

Operation Forth Bridge has been around for many years, with Buckingham Palace, in consultation with both the Queen and Prince Philip, regularly updating and reviewing it.

Part one of the operation was the announcement from Buckingham Palace confirming the death of the Duke, which was distributed to the Press Association and BBC first.

Then the country enters a period of national mourning, meaning a set of rules, like flags being flown at half-mast, must be followed.

According to reports, it’s thought newsreaders and other TV presenters must wear black out of respect.

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Next, plans for the funeral will be drawn up, and while Prince Philip is entitled to a state funeral he reportedly wanted something more discreet – a private service in the style of a military funeral at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, followed by burial at Frogmore Gardens.

The funeral is still expected to be televised despite the current restrictions, although it remains unclear how many people will be able to attend it.

The Queen’s private secretary and senior adviser, Sir Edward Young, will be on hand to help her during the undoubtedly challenging days ahead.

As well as being responsible for supporting the Queen in her duties, Sir Edward is also the channel of communication between the Queen and the government.

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Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, has died aged 99




Jamie McCaffrey / Flickr

Prince Philip has died aged 99, Buckingham Palace has confirmed today.

A tweet on The Royal Family Twitter account announced the news.

The Duke of Edinburgh was born 1921, and was married to Queen Elizabeth II for more than 70 years – officially the longest-serving consort in British history.

The official announcement read: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.

“Further announcements will be made in due course.

“The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”

There’s been no official details about the Duke’s funeral released yet, however it has been reported that he will be given a royal ceremonial funeral rather than a state funeral, in line with his wishes.


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