The drive, described as a “war against obesity”, comes after studies have shown that Covid-19 disproportionately affects overweight people and after Boris Johnson reportedly blamed the severity of his coronavirus symptoms on his weight.
Data from Public Health England shows that almost two-thirds of adults are classified as being overweight or obese when measured by the body mass index (BMI) metric.
However, the government has yet to give many specifics on its approach to tackling obesity.
One measure that Downing Street could introduce is to force supermarkets to stop offering discount deals on unhealthy products such as sweets and chocolate.
Health groups are also calling for junk-food advertising to be banned before 9pm, but Mr Johnson is thought to be unsure about such a proposal.
Referring to the UK’s obesity problem, the former health secretary Jeremy Hunt, who chairs the Commons health and social care committee, said that healthy food must be made better value for money.