IT’S a weighty issue, but the connection made between Covid-19 and obesity has made one Redditch Borough Councillor sit up and take notice.
Deputy leader Mike Rouse is coy about his weight but does admit to having lost nine stone in 2010 “before slowly seeing it creep back on again”.
Recently Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a crackdown on obesity making clear the link between it and coronavirus.
Mr Johnson said: “Obesity is one of the real co-morbidity factors. Losing weight, frankly, is one of the ways you can reduce your own risk from coronavirus.”
It’s a message that has hit home to the Conservative representative on Church Hill ward: “I’ve got to admit that Covid-19 scares me, because if I catch it my chance of surviving it is around 20 per cent for one simple reason – obesity,” he said.
“Turns out it really is one of the factors that makes it a lot worse.
“The other thing about Covid is that it could happen now – heart disease, lung disease, that’s further down the line, but Covid is right now.”
Type II Diabetes is also a threat and the married father of two is already trying to sort out a diet with recipes and meal planners.
“Last weekend there was a bit of a blip, but that is part of the challenge,” he said.
“Whatever you commit to change there are going to be blips along the way, what matters is that there is more progress than blips.”
Coun Rouse aims is to join with Abbey Stadium operations manager Scott Brinkworth in a bid to demystify exercise, sort out the right kit and discover what to do.
“If you’re starting from scratch it’s the simple things that can trip you up and it’s about fitting in.
“When you go to a gym for the first time you’re already going to stick out without looking like a charlie.
“I am conscious and aware of my role in setting a good example, and I fully intend to do so. Please feel free to join me on this journey – I’d love to hear your stories and I’d love to hear how we can all work together to make Redditch healthier because today ‘healthier’ also means ‘safer’.”