(Bloomberg) -- U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is ditching his libertarian instincts and considering state interventions to tackle the U.K.’s high obesity levels.

The coronavirus crisis has persuaded Johnson that ministers have a duty to address excess weight as a major health issue, he told Times Radio on Monday.

The prime minister has previously railed against “nanny state” interventions in the lives of ordinary people, but his -- and the nation’s -- battle with coronavirus has changed his views. He described how he lost weight while in intensive care with Covid-19 in April, and said he would be considering how to address the nation’s poor record on obesity.

“I have taken a very libertarian stance on obesity,” Johnson said. “But actually when you look at the numbers, when you look at the pressure on the NHS, compare, I’m afraid, this wonderful country of ours to other European countries, we are significantly fatter than most.”

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