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01/07/2020 14:23:58  

The Woman’s Hour presenter has written a book about her lifelong struggle with her weight. She discusses fat-shaming, body positivity and what happened when she had bariatric surgery

A few years ago, Jenni Murray was out walking with her son and dogs when she saw a potential vision of her future. While she was strolling painfully around the park, stopping to rest at benches where she could, a woman not much larger than Murray passed them on a mobility scooter, her own dogs’ leads attached to the handlebars. If Murray – at 24 stone (152kg) – didn’t do something about her weight, her concerned son said, that might be her before long. How did she feel about herself at that point?

“Extremely obese,” she says. “I was not the fit, active person that I wanted to be. I just lumbered everywhere. I’d had breast cancer and a double hip replacement in my 50s, but it was the obesity that was going to kill me.” It was the final push Murray needed, after a lifetime of dieting, and a warning from her doctor that she was on the way to developing type 2 diabetes. “I thought, I’ve got to do something about it, I’m 64 and I’m not going to make it to 70.” She adds, triumph in her voice, “And I did make it to 70!” She reached the milestone birthday in May.

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29/06/2020 11:22:29  

Joining Times Radio for their inaugural broadcast, Boris showed himself nuanced in how to address the nation’s obesity problem – both rejecting his laissez faire attitude of the past and uncomfortable with being branded interventionist. After leaving his ICU lighter than he went in, it was reported the PM was intent on putting the nation on a […]
15/06/2020 10:20:12  

Health officials need to emphasize the relation between obesity and Covid-19, and we need to treat it like other chronic diseases

By now, most people understand that the elderly are especially vulnerable to Covid-19. But studies of Covid-19 patients in France, Italy, China and the United States have also identified chronic conditions that place even younger patients at risk. Near the top of the list: obesity.

As we work to protect ourselves during this pandemic – and prepare ourselves for the next one – health officials need to be clear about the connection between obesity and Covid-19. Obesity increases the risk of respiratory failure, alters the immune system and may cause chronic inflammation that can rapidly escalate out of control with coronavirus infection.

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12/06/2020 12:19:41  

Improving housing, education and employment opportunities would have dramatic impacts on ethnic health disparities

Covid-19 has transformed the United States. It has forced the nation to confront an ugly truth about American life: racism kills. The pandemic’s path of destruction in New York City, for example, is heaviest in neighborhoods that were already reeling from the impacts of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and HIV/Aids. These are also the neighborhoods with the highest concentrations of working poor and low-income Black and Latinx families. These are also the neighborhoods with the highest concentrations of unemployment, low levels of education, and high rates of arrest and incarceration. 

These are the neighborhoods that housed the heaviest concentrations of workers who were deemed “essential” by city and state government decree and who were at greatest risk for exposure to Covid-19 because their jobs required them to be in close contact with the general public. Tragically, bus drivers, subway workers and delivery personnel do not have the option of “working from home”. They typically have had to choose between remaining home and losing their jobs or working in settings with a high risk of exposure to the virus. Moreover, in many instances, those whose jobs did not carry health insurance delayed or avoided going to the hospital for fear that the cost of getting medical care would bankrupt them.  

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