ON MONDAY, Boris Johnson urged people to reach a healthy weight in order to take the strain off the NHS during the coronavirus crisis.

The Prime Minister admitted he was “too fat” when he was taken into intensive care after contracting the illness in April.

But he revealed he has since lost more than a stone in a bid to return to fitness, achieving this weight-loss through regular morning runs with his dog.

And he urged others to follow his lead as part of the Government’s new, Better Health Strategy.

He said: “If you can get your weight down a bit and protect your health, you’ll also be protecting the NHS...What we are doing now with our Better Health Strategy is just trying to help people, a little bit, to bring their weight down.

"Not in an excessively bossy or nannying way, I hope. We want this one really to be sympathetic to people, to understand the difficulties that people face with their weight.”

The Argus:

But, with Mr Johnson hoping the national health-kick will soon take hold, how well-equipped is Brighton and Hove residents to live a healthy and active lifestyle?

Personal finance company Bankrate decided to find out, with a mission of uncovering Britain’s “healthiest high street” by creating a new HealthRate index. Initially the study rated cities on the number of gyms on offer, with Brighton boasting the second best score in the UK.

It found that there were 53 gyms “within walking distance from the high street” - one better than London and second only to Glasgow with 79.

The Argus:

Brighton also scored well on the number of leisure centres on offer, finishing in joint third with 18, behind Derby (32) and York (22).

Each gym and leisure centre earned Brighton three points in the HealthRate index. The city also recorded average scores in number of green space, eateries suitable for vegans, number of libraries, GP access and pubs (thought to be healthy for their social benefits).

These contributed to its total HealthRate index score. But certain factors were also worth negative points such as the number of betting shops, payday lenders and vape shops on and near each city’s high street.

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Brighton was badly let down by the number of fast food restaurants and takeaways in the city centre, with 117 sites earning it -234 points. As a result, the city scored 237 points overall - the 24th highest total out of 82 cities surveyed.

York was named as the healthiest high street with 471 points, while Peterborough was slapped with the unwanted title of least healthy with -104 points.