TV chef says PM's plans for more gastric band ops won't solve obesity

Why Boris Johnson’s plan for more gastric bands WON’T solve the obesity crisis: TV health expert Sally Bee argues people should see ‘positivity coaches’ – and says ‘overweight’ PM should lead by example

  • Sally Bee, 52, says losing weight is an ’emotional, not a mechanical’ process
  • Says overweight people being ‘led up the garden path’ with weightloss fads
  • Argues key is not surgery but making people feel better about themselves
  • Says having a more positive outlook makes making healthier food choices easier
  • Offering to put Boris on her six-week weight loss course to help him lose 12lb

TV chef Sally Bee has waded into the row over whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson is right to tackle the nation’s obesity crisis by prescribing more gastric bands for people struggling to lose weight.

Healthy cook Sally, 52, of Stratford-upon-Avon, who shot to fame on ITV’s Lorraine show, says paying attention to people’s emotional needs and the deep-rooted reasons people fall into unhealthy eating habits is the real key to winning the obesity battle.

She’s even offering to put the prime minister on her six-week weight-loss course to show him how he could lose 12lbs.

Sally told FEMAIL: ‘Losing weight is not a mechanical thing, it’s an emotional thing. My heart breaks for anyone who struggles with their weight.

TV chef Sally Bee (pictured) has waded into the row over whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson is right to tackle the nation’s obesity crisis by prescribing more gastric bands for people struggling to lose weight

Mr Johnson said that since his recovery from the deadly illness he has focused on getting fitter by going on morning runs with his dog Dilyn – and wants Brits to do the same

‘For far too long people have been led up the garden path with the promise of weight-loss through fad diets, slimming shakes, meal replacement bars and now free surgery – when actually all we need to do is teach them to feel better about themselves.

‘When you have a more positive outlook, and feel more confident within, making healthier food choices becomes easier.

‘It’s not about fat-shaming anyone or being stick thin, it’s just about being healthier.’

Boris controversially proposed gastric bands become more widely available at the end of June as he drew up an anti-obesity plan to help beat the anticipated second wave of COVID-19.

Boris Johnson is seen going for a run in May. The Prime Minister said last month: ‘The great thing about going for a run at the beginning of the day is that nothing could be worse for the rest of the day’

TV medic Dr Hilary Jones was among the high-profile experts to speak out against the idea, saying it was not the solution.

Johnson, meanwhile, said the nation would be ‘happier and healthier’ if people considered obese or overweight were lighter.

Sally, however, says happiness must come first, and weightloss and better health will follow.

As someone who was once a size 14-16 and is now a curvy size 12, Sally has first-hand experience of being heavier than she wanted to be, and says a healthy mindset is the only way to shed the pounds and keep them off.

As someone who was once a size 14-16 and is now a curvy size 12, Sally has first-hand experience of being heavier than she wanted to be, and says a healthy mindset is the only way to shed the pounds and keep them off. Sally pictured before and after her own weightloss

Sally says: ‘We all know the way to lose weight is to eat less and move more. The reason people fail in their weight loss challenges and aims is not because they forget what to do, it’s because their mindset doesn’t support them.

‘We should be helping the population change their mindset, instead of preaching the stuff to them that they already know, because that clearly doesn’t work.

‘Boris needs to lead by example instead of following what every other government has tried to do and failed. He needs to take a new approach and change his own mindset in order to help the nation change theirs.’

Mother-of-three Sally was a size 16 in her twenties and modelled for catalogues including Littlewoods.

Mother-of-three Sally, pictured in 2016, was a size 16 in her twenties and modelled for catalogues including Littlewoods

She says: ‘Although I was travelling the world, modelling, I was miserable. I had no self-esteem, low self-confidence and thought I was ugly, despite being paid to look nice in photos.’

Sally tried to slim down by following different diets, but couldn’t shift the extra weight.

She says: ‘Constantly thinking about food, what NOT to eat, just made me eat more. Food became my only focus. I realised really quickly that “diet” shouldn’t be the focus – living a happy and healthy life should be the focus.

‘I quit modelling and went to drama school. I was focusing on life rather than food.

‘We all need a passion in life – that’s what lots of people lack. When you find your passion, it gives you energy. For me food had been nothing more than a crutch to support my lack of confidence.’

Boris controversially proposed gastric bands become more widely available at the end of June as he drew up an anti-obesity plan to help beat the anticipated second wave of COVID-19. TV medic Dr Hilary Jones (pictured with Sally and Lorraine Kelly) was among the high-profile experts to speak out against the idea, saying it was not the solution

Also under fire from Sally is the PM’s sugar tax, along with the idea of health warnings on alcohol.

Sally, also an author and motivational speaker, says: ‘This doesn’t work. Instead of spending hours a and millions of pounds debating what to add the sin tax to, we should be spending time learning how our minds work.

‘Weight-loss is simple. You focus on how you feel, you focus on getting happier and healthier and weight-loss is an easy to achieve side effect. Boris is missing the point completely and needs to wake up.’

More than 16 years ago, at the age of 36, Sally was diagnosed with a life-threatening condition called SCAD – Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection – after surviving three heart attacks.

In 2016 her life was once more on the line when two more heart attacks struck, but she survived and went on to fine-tune the art of positive mental thinking.

More than 16 years ago, at the age of 36, Sally was diagnosed with a life-threatening condition called SCAD – Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection – after surviving three heart attacks. Pictured in hospital

‘I didn’t suffer heart attacks,’ she says. ‘I survived them. I taught myself to be positive and wanted to share the power of our minds with others, whether it’s to beat an addiction, to get through each day or to lose weight.’

Sally, the author of six books, launched the ‘Being the Best You’ movement and shares daily messages of positivity with her followers and has now launched a six-week weight loss course with daily support videos.

Positivity and healthy eating features heavily, with viewers encouraged to eat nutritiously and ditch processed foods, which Sally says, followed correctly, can see a 12lb weight loss in six weeks.

Independent reviews on Trustpilot’s website have hailed the plan a success.

One reviewer, Anne Russell, said: ‘Sally’s course is worth its weight in gold. It absolutely works, not only to lose weight, but to change the way you think about food. The course offers so much more, builds self-esteem and enables you to take control.’

Visit sally-bee.com/join for more information.

What is in Boris Johnson’s new anti-obesity strategy?

Boris Johnson said he was ‘too fat’ before he was hospitalised with coronavirus and that he had now lost more than a stone since his illness 

– Shops

Stores will be barred from pushing ‘buy one, get one free’ promotions on unhealthy products as the Government looks to reduce the temptation to snack.

Supermarket managers will also be banned from placing confectionery in tempting locations, such as store entrances and beside checkouts, and will instead be encouraged to offer more discounts on fruit and vegetables.

– Advertising

The Prime Minister’s strategy will put an end to junk food adverts on television and online before the 9pm watershed in a bid to shield youngsters at a time when their food preferences are being set.

The Government will also hold a consultation into whether the planned internet advertising restrictions could be wider reaching, with a total ban on advertising food high in fat, sugar or salt an option under consideration.

– Calorie counting

Ministers will introduce new legislation forcing restaurants and takeaways with more than 250 employees to add calorie labels to their menus to assist diners in making more informed choices.

The Department of Health said a consultation would follow before the end of the year to help decide whether the same type of calorie labelling on alcohol should be required.

– Health service interventions

To help people lose the pounds, NHS weight management services will be expanding, with more smartphone apps rolled out with the purpose of improving lifestyle and overall health.

The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme will also see improvements.

GPs will be encouraged to prescribe exercise and other social activities to help people keep fit, with cycling pilots in the poorest areas set to provide bikes to entice people into upping their activity levels.

– Food packet labelling

A consultation – the third associated with the strategy – will gather evidence on how the current ‘traffic light’ labelling system on food packets is being used by consumers and industry, while comparing it to other international examples.

The labelling is used to highlight the fat content and other barometers of how healthy a product is to help shoppers understand what is in the food they buy.

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