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Artist David Hockney lays into ‘bossy boots’ Boris Johnson’s anti-obesit crackdown

Artist David Hockney lays into ‘bossy boots’ Boris Johnson’s anti-obesity junk food, alcohol and smoking crackdown – saying ‘you might live to 104… but call that living?’

  • Artists David Hockney, 83, has criticised the government’s plan to cut obesity
  • Yesterday it was revealed that two thirds of UK adults are above a health weight
  • Mr Hockney called Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock ‘bossy boots’ over their plan 

Artist David Hockney has branded Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock ‘bossy boots’ over their attempts to cut obesity by cutting down on junk food, alcohol and smoking, saying ‘you might live to 104… but call that living?’

In a letter published in today’s Telegraph, the 83-year-old artist criticised the government’s plans, which could see adverts for certain foods banned before 9pm, a ban on buy one get one free offers and calorie warning labels printed onto bottles of alcohol.

The Bradford-born artist wrote: ‘Bossy-boots Hancock and bossy-boots Boris are suggesting if everybody loses five pounds it would save the National Health Service £100 million. I can’t see how this could be measured; the NHS is what it says, a national service.

Artist David Hockney, pictured in 2015, has criticised the government’s crackdown on obesity

If no one smokes, eats chocolate or butter, cheese and bacon, they might live to be 104. Call that living?’

Yesterday Mr Johnson said it was his own battle with Covid-19 in April that made him address his own weight problem. 

The PM insisted the Government’s ‘better health strategy’ will help people to ‘bring their weight down’ and better protect the NHS. 

However, he insisted ministers will not be ‘excessively bossy or nannying’ in telling people what to do. 

Boris Johnson revealed the government's plan to crack down on obesity levels across the UK on Monday

Boris Johnson revealed the government’s plan to crack down on obesity levels across the UK on Monday

The Prime Minister’s comments came as Health Secretary Matt Hancock said if overweight adults were to lose five pounds in weight it could save the NHS £100 million. 

Mr Johnson said the ‘number one’ benefit of losing weight is that you ‘feel much better’ and feel ‘more full of energy’. 

Matt Hancock has been branded a 'bossy boots,' by artist David Hockney

Matt Hancock has been branded a ‘bossy boots,’ by artist David Hockney

He continued: ‘The other thing obviously is if you can get your weight down a bit and protect your health you will also be protecting the NHS.

Writing in yesterday’s edition of The Telegraph, Matt Hancock said: ‘If everyone who is overweight lost five pounds it could save the NHS over £100 million over the next five years. 

‘And more importantly, given the link between obesity and coronavirus, losing weight could be lifesaving.’ 

Mr Hockney’s letter added: ‘Bossy-boots always want to take the sweet things out of life, and remember that the ultimate bossy-boots is a slave owner.

‘The National Health Service will always have to deal with births and deaths, the final cause of death is birth. Love life.’ 

The UK is the second fattest country in Europe with two-thirds of adults above a healthy weight, according to Government data, and one in three children aged 10 to 11 are overweight or obese.

Mr Johnson added: ‘What we are doing now with our better health strategy is just trying to help people a little bit to bring their weight down – not in an excessively bossy or nannying way, I hope.

‘We want this one really to be sympathetic to people, to understand the difficulties that people face with their weight, the struggles that everybody faces, that many, many people face, to lose weight and just to be helpful.’