The report maps obesity rates, smoking and life expectancy within regions across the UK. The data show that a north-south divide still exists with northern areas experiencing higher obesity rates, more smoking-related deaths and lower life expectancies. Indeed, women in the north live on average one year less than those living in the south
The levels of obesity highlight that it may soon overtake CHD as the UK’s biggest health problem. Efforts now should focus on involving supermarkets, schools, parents and children to engender a change in attitudes rather than offering yet further advice.
Dr Ian Campbell, medical director of the charity Weight Concern, told the BBC: ‘The problem of obesity is too entrenched to be simply an issue of issuing more advice. Instead we need to change the environment and make it easier for people to be healthy.’
Copies of the Health Profile of England and Health Challenge England - Choosing Health the Next Steps are available on the Department of Health website.
Community Health Profiles for each primary care trust/local authority area are also available.