Weight-loss jabs shouldn’t be seen as a ‘cure’ for obesity – we need to tackle real reasons for comfort eating first

OBESITY costs lives. And those lives cost the NHS a small fortune.

Take “Britain’s heaviest man” Jason Holton, who weighed an estimated 50 stone, died of organ failure last month, aged 33.

'Britain’s heaviest man' Jason Holton, who weighed an estimated 50 stone, died of organ failure last month

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‘Britain’s heaviest man’ Jason Holton, who weighed an estimated 50 stone, died of organ failure last monthCredit: Ian Whittaker – News Group Newspapers Ltd
As a nation we need to tackle the real reasons for comfort eating, instead of relying on weight loss jabs such as Ozempic

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As a nation we need to tackle the real reasons for comfort eating, instead of relying on weight loss jabs such as OzempicCredit: Getty

Days before his death, it took six firefighters to transfer him to the Royal Surrey County Hospital in a special ambulance.

The floorboards in his specially adapted council bungalow in a Hants village had been reinforced to bear his weight and, when he previously lived in a first-floor flat, it took 30 firefighters to winch him out in a seven-hour operation.

Across his adult life, one man’s obesity will have cost the state hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Meanwhile, a new, landmark study suggests that obesity could be fuelling four in ten cases of cancer and plays a role in more than 30 types of the disease.

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It also warns that Britain is facing a devastating health time bomb, with nearly two thirds of the adult population being overweight.

This ties in with another new study that suggests obesity related illness is seriously hampering economic growth, because those who are severely obese are 2.5 times more likely to be off sick than those of a healthy size.

So it’s no exaggeration when experts suggest that obesity is one of the “gravest financial risks” in the UK and the driving force behind our reputation as the “sick man of Europe”.

And with yet another study (they come in threes, like buses) showing that children who watch a screen during mealtimes are more likely to be overweight, it sounds like we’ll be getting even sicker in the future.

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Or will we?

All of the above studies are being presented and discussed at the European Congress on Obesity in Venice this week, but there are some positive findings too.

Interview with mum of Britain’s heaviest man Jason Holton, who tragically died last week

Not least that weight-loss jab semaglutide (found in Ozempic) could reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes in people irrespective of how big they are.

Currently approved for NHS use to treat Type 2 diabetes, semaglutide mimics the hormone our bodies release after eating, making us feel full.

But there can be side-effects such as nausea and diarrhoea and, assuming you shouldn’t stay on it for life, what happens when you stop taking it?

Does the weight pile back on?

After all, if you don’t tackle the psychological reasons behind why someone comfort eats so damagingly then, once the appetite suppressant has stopped, the “feed me” demons might return?

And what of the food industry’s role in metaphorically shoving cheap, processed food down our throats?

That needs to be reined in with tougher legislation.

So, while a weight-loss jab is undoubtedly a game changer in the battle to tackle obesity, it remains that regular exercise and a healthy relationship with food remain vitally important too.

In other words, Ozempic etc is a handy component in tackling obesity but should not be seen as a singular “cure”.

Meghan could have been the new Diana

WATCHING Meghan charm the crowds in Nigeria brought back memories of the time when, as part of the royal press pack, I accompanied Charles and Diana there in March 1990.

These photos were taken on my Kodak Brownie camera on that trip.

Watching Meghan charm the crowds in Nigeria brought back memories of the time when I accompanied Charles and Diana there in March 1990

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Watching Meghan charm the crowds in Nigeria brought back memories of the time when I accompanied Charles and Diana there in March 1990
Pictures show Di lighting up the room at a women’s festival in Lagos

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Pictures show Di lighting up the room at a women’s festival in Lagos

One shows her lighting up the room at a women’s festival in Lagos with her easy-going manner and ability to make everyone she spoke to feel special.

The other was taken when she strode in to what was then known as a “leper colony” (taking us with her).

She shook hands with those living there – a simple act that spoke volumes on the world stage when it came to disavowing the myth that the disease was highly contagious.

She was a force of nature and, although Charles was the heir apparent, he was very much in her shadow.

It’s the same story with Harry and Meghan who, however much her recollections now vary, was welcomed by the British public with open arms.

It remains a great shame that she didn’t stick around.

Protest sinks to new low

THE 13 students who started their hunger strike at America’s Princeton University on May 3 have now been replaced by seven new participants to carry on the pro-Palestinian protest.

Before the switch, one of them accused the uni of purposely “physically weakening” the strikers who were, er, starving.

Isn’t that the point when you’ve chosen to go on hunger strike?

But I digress.

It reminds me of the time when a woman arrived at the offices of a newspaper I used to work for, saying she “had a story” to impart, but could she please use the toilet first?

When she didn’t emerge, we found she’d handcuffed herself to a sink U-bend in protest at something the paper had printed that she didn’t agree with.

It was early evening so we switched off the lights and heating, went to the pub and left her to it.

When we returned the next day, she’d gone

The Chaise is over

THE Chase brainbox Anne Hegerty took on an AI chatbot in a quiz challenge and won.

Reassurance, then, for all those who fear we’ll one day be replaced by robots.

The Chase's Anne Hegerty took on an AI chatbot in a quiz challenge and won

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The Chase’s Anne Hegerty took on an AI chatbot in a quiz challenge and wonCredit: ITV

Temporary, though.

For while our faculties diminish as we age, the chatbot will get stronger and whoop our asses at a not much later date.

Emma’s oddly so shy

EMMA WATSON got her big break as Hermione in the Harry Potter movies.

Since then? I’d struggle to name one of her films.

Yet last week, at a party for her gin label Renais (nope, me neither) in London, guests had little stickers placed over their phone cameras in case, one assumes, they tried to sneak a pic.

Curious, isn’t it, how someone so camera shy is inexplicably drawn towards a career that demands everyone to watch them?

Ex Ben loved drama

VANESSA FELTZ dated Ben Ofoedu for 17 years.

He was part of her family, lived in her gorgeous London home and happily attended glitzy showbiz events as her plus one.

TV personality Vanessa Feltz dated Ben Ofoedu for 17 years

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TV personality Vanessa Feltz dated Ben Ofoedu for 17 yearsCredit: Getty
After allegedly cheating on Feltz multiple times, Ben says he has now 'found love' with reality star Precious Muir

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After allegedly cheating on Feltz multiple times, Ben says he has now ‘found love’ with reality star Precious MuirCredit: Getty

Then he cheated on her (allegedly multiple times) and she kicked him out last year.

Bad enough, but after first apologising and begging her to take him back, he then moaned she’d used him as “eye candy” and taken “the best years” of his life.

Now he has “found love” with reality star Precious Muir and they are popping up at the opening of envelopes, to rub salt in the wounds.

Last week, Vanessa reportedly left an event after learning they were inside, prompting 33-year-old Precious to comment: “Love is unfair… There’s the age difference. I’m much younger than her, maybe that’s a factor as well. I hope she finds somebody that she could fall in love with as well.”

Big of her.

For the record, Vanessa is 62 and Ben is 51 – making them far closer in age than the 18-year chasm between him and his latest amour.

The chances of it lasting?

Precious few, I’d say.

In the meantime, it would be classier if they stop garnering headlines on the back of his heartbroken ex.

Women need a gay pal

WHILE some Strictly pairings are happy to never again clap eyes on each other once the series ends, the bond between dancer Johannes Radebe and former tennis star Annabel Croft grows ever stronger.

“I became close to Johannes, and so did my children. He’s been over to my house for supper many times and, after the final, neither of us could bear not to speak every day,” says 57-year-old Annabel.

Annabel Croft and Johannes Radebe have stayed close after Strictly

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Annabel Croft and Johannes Radebe have stayed close after StrictlyCredit: Getty

She added that he helped her to navigate the dance contest while grieving the loss of her husband Mel Coleman, to cancer last May.

I had the pleasure of dancing the Charleston with Johannes (blessedly briefly, he might say) for an item on Loose Women, and he’s one of the nicest people in showbiz.

Every girl needs a gay best friend.

Better still, any new romantic interests never feel threatened by them.

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Clueless Keir

LABOUR leader Sir Keir Starmer needs to be seen as a man of the people if he’s to win the next election.

Sir Keir Starmer was spotted hanging out in a BA first-class lounge

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Sir Keir Starmer was spotted hanging out in a BA first-class loungeCredit: PA

So why the hell is he hanging out in a BA first-class lounge?