How diet may have saved Matt Hancock: Health Secretary shed weight during 2019 election campaign… and doctor suggests it was a key factor in his recovery from coronavirus
- GP David Unwin said Matt Hancock lost 10lb last year by cutting down on carbs
- He said losing weight may have helped Mr Hancock to recover from coronavirus
- Research has found that obesity doubles the risk of needing hospital treatment
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
Matt Hancock believes cutting down on carbs helped him to beat the virus.
The Health Secretary is understood to have lost 10lb during last year’s election – and friends confirmed he thinks it was a key factor in his recovery.
GP David Unwin revealed Mr Hancock told him he’d slimmed by ‘cutting back on sugary and starchy foods’.
Dr Unwin, who promotes a low-carb diet, said losing weight may have helped him get better so quickly after he was struck down with coronavirus.
Dr Unwin, who promotes a low-carb diet, said losing weight may have helped him (before he lost weight pictured left) get better so quickly after he was struck down with coronavirus (after he lost weight pictured right)
It comes as Boris Johnson prepares to launch a ‘much more interventionist’ drive against obesity after the coronavirus menace has passed.
Research has found that obesity doubles the risk of needing hospital treatment for coronavirus, as well as increasing the risk of heart disease and cancer.
The Prime Minister, who is overweight and endured a spell in intensive care after coming down with the disease, wants to get more people onto bikes.
The NHS is also set to offer more people in health checks in a bid to nip the obesity problem in the bud.
It is understood that Mr Hancock lost around two stone around six or seven years ago when he lost weight when he was training for a horse race.
He did this by cutting down on bread and other foods high in sugar and starch.
The Health Secretary since put some of this back on, but during the election campaign in November and December, he lost about 10 pounds.
Dr Unwin said: ‘I recently met our Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock, who’s had first-hand experience of the benefits of a healthy diet.
‘He told me then that he’d lost two stone (going from 13st 7 to 11st7) by cutting back on sugary and starchy foods. I cannot help but wonder if that may have helped him recover from Covid so rapidly?’
Mr Johnson is said to be convinced that the reason he ended up in intensive care was because of his weight, which was 17 and a half stone before he was admitted to hospital.
Boris Johnson is determined to get Britain cycling, colleagues claim, as he declares war on fat following his brush with coronavirus
He is understood to have lost a stone since coming out of hospital a month ago.
Last week the government’s road map document for easing the lockdown said ministers would invest in more schemes to target ill-health to ’empower people to live healthier and more active lives’.
It said: ‘This will involve expanding the infrastructure for active travel (cycling and walking) and expanding health screening services, especially through the NHS Health Check programme, which is currently under review.’
The Times reported last week that Mr Johnson remarked ‘it’s all right for you thinnies’ when discussing the disease in Downing Street.
Mr Johnson believes that the pandemic provides an opportunity for the government to reinforce the message that people need to lead healthy lifestyles. He is said to be ‘obsessed’ with encouraging more people to cycle to work and believes it is a good moment to ‘get Britain on its bike’.
The PM’s suggestion that he wants a more ‘interventionist’ approach comes despite his longstanding criticism of the ‘nanny state’.