People should not eat Easter eggs in one sitting to reduce the risk of falling ill this weekend, the NHS has warned.

Dr Andrew Kelso, a medical director at the NHS, encouraged the public to resist eating Easter eggs in one sitting, and to cut back on the cakes and biscuits as well.

In an NHS blog, Dr Kelso warned that practices would be shut on Good Friday and Easter Monday and urged people to do “all they can to look after themselves”.

He warned that the extra calorie intake of sugary chocolate and treats “doesn’t do our bodies any good”.

Dr Kelso, who has been labelled a ‘killjoy’ by critics, explained: “The Easter holidays are a fantastic opportunity for rest and relaxation with our families, which is so important for our wellbeing. This will also be a time when, for many of us, our consumption of chocolate and sweets increases.

“Yet, many people don’t realise that an average Easter egg contains around three-quarters of an adult’s recommended daily calorie intake. At a time like this when we are seeing significant increases in cases of obesity and Type 2 diabetes, as well as tooth decay, I urge people to enjoy their Easter eggs in moderation and resist the urge to eat a whole egg in one go.

“As well as Easter eggs many of us will be meeting up with family and friends for social occasions, which will see us eat more cakes and biscuits. Combined, it all adds up to a lot of extra sugar and calories which doesn’t do our bodies any good. Enjoy your sweet treats, but please don’t overdo it.

Dr Kelso also called on people to “consider carefully” whether they need attention from health services over the Easter weekend.

GP surgeries will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday, and Dr Kelso also warned that pharmacies will need “additional time” to process repeat prescriptions over the bank holiday weekend.

He said: “During Easter staff and services will be incredibly busy, and the priority will always be to help first those with life-threatening conditions. So, please consider carefully the best source of help and keep our emergency departments for the most serious issues.

“If you or a family member feels unwell firstly visit the NHS 111 Online symptom checker or telephone NHS 111 for help and advice.  Both of these services are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Your local pharmacy is a great source of help and advice and you don’t need an appointment to speak with the pharmacist. Some pharmacies will be open over the holiday weekend, including Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.

“For anyone experiencing a mental health crisis you can speak to a mental health professional anytime, day or night, by calling NHS 111 and choosing the mental health option.”