Three quarters of population overweight in parts of England

As many as 75% of people are overweight or obese in parts of England, according to latest figures that reveal the extent of the obesity crisis facing the NHS.

Waist measurement: 75% of population obese in parts of England
Waist measurement: 75% of population obese in parts of England

On average, two thirds of people in England carry excess weight but this proportion varies greatly between areas, figures from Public Health England (PHE) show.

At 75.9%, Copeland in Cumbria has the highest proportion of people with a BMI over 25, followed by Doncaster in South Yorkshire at 74.4% and East Lindsey in Lincolnshire with 73.8%.

London boroughs account for nine of the 10 local authorities with the lowest rates of excess weight. Kensington and Chelsea has the lowest rate in the country with just 45.9% of people overweight or obese.

The average across England is 63.8%, with London the least overweight region and the North East the most.

Professor Kevin Fenton, director of health and wellbeing at PHE, called on local authorities, which are now responsible for public health, to tackle obesity in their area.

He said: ‘People who are overweight or obese have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. Excess weight can also affect self-esteem and mental health. Overall health problems associated with being overweight or obese cost the NHS over £5bn each year.

‘There is no silver bullet to reducing obesity; it is a complex issue that requires action at individual, family, local and national levels. We can all play our part in this by eating a healthy balanced diet and being more active.’

The data was published as part of a new indicator to track local authorities’ performance under the Public Health Outcomes Framework. The figures were based on self-reported height and weight measurements collected through the Active People Survey by Sport England since January 2012.

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