December 5, 2021

Acqua NYC

Fit And Go Forward

Cycling is all well and good but the government needs to do much more to tackle obesity

I had imagined moving back to London and cycling my bike in the new cycle lanes and enjoying some kind of new, green urban utopia: Getty
I had imagined moving back to London and cycling my bike in the new cycle lanes and enjoying some kind of new, green urban utopia: Getty

A tiny cheer is due to Boris Johnson for his latest wheeze to encourage us to follow him in his efforts to lose the lockdown lard. It is indeed a step in the right direction. However, it is a pity that step is halfway up the ladder, rather than starting on the first rung.

Johnson thinks that cycling should do the trick. On Boris bikes, maybe? If he ever bothered to spend unpublicised time in areas such as Bolton or indeed Tower Hamlets, he would learn that access to cycling is not easy.

He clearly knows nothing about the viewing habits of most young people today, who have no concept of a 9pm “watershed”. They are unlikely to be influenced by adverts, which they don’t watch anyway, on TV channels, which they don’t watch either.

Eating healthily is not so easy when you live in deprived areas, with little income and limited opportunities to buy healthy food. How much better it would have been for the chancellor to distribute the dining-out voucher money to charities working with the poor and dispossessed, to provide healthy food and education in nutrition.

So, back to the foot of the ladder please, prime minister

Sue Breadner

Isle of Man

The announcement that GPs are to be asked by the prime minister to prescribe cycling (“PM to ask GPs to prescribe cycling in obesity campaign”) was heartening as presumably my GP will now be able to prescribe me a new bike on which to do it.

Paul Draper


Commiserations to Norwich, Bournemouth and Watford on being relegated from the Premier League. It won’t be long before we all feel down like them as – thanks to the own goal of Brexit – the UK too drops into a lower league.

Unlike them we can’t console ourselves with the prospect of coming straight back-up or of replacing key players likely to be permanently lost from a once united team to a bigger European club.

Roger Hinds


Coming hard on the heals of a winter and spring of uncertainty it’s not too much of a shock to learn that this state of affairs will continue through summer (Dominic Raab warns of ‘summer of uncertainty’ after air bridge to Spain pulled with hours notice).

I would have liked Raab C Brexit to also come clean about the coming autumn and winter, with special reference to 31st December.

Eddie Dougall

Bury St Edmunds

I see that the UK government is to cut £2.9 billion from the overseas aid programme.

The damage this will inevitably cause to vulnerable peoples in many countries who rely on out assistance is bad enough. More concerning is the fact that the official “letter: was published last Wednesday as MPs head home for the summer recess.

Consequently our elected representatives will have no opportunity to scrutinise the cut. If we are to have faith in the leadership of the government this sort of behaviour must stop. Quite frankly it is pathetic and it has been noted.

Steve Edmondson


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Johnson’s cycling prescription policy is typical shallow politics

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