More than two in three adults in Essex are overweight or obese, Public Health England report finds
08:58 05 February 2014
Over two-thirds of adults in Essex are overweight or obese, according to new figures.
For the first time, nationwide data has revealed the fattest and thinnest parts of England and the scale of the obesity crisis.
The study, carried out by Public Health England, found that 67.3 per cent of adults in Essex were either overweight or obese with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or over – above the national rate of 63.8 per cent.
Things are marginally better in Uttlesford. The study found that 63.4 per cent of adults were overweight or obese, one of the lowest revealed in the county – Chelmsford (62.4 per cent) had the lowest, and Basildon (71.7 per cent) the highest.
The fattest region is the North East, where 68 per cent of people were overweight or obese in 2012. The thinnest was London, with a rate of 57.3 per cent.
Dr Gina Radford, centre director of the Anglia and Essex branch of Public Health England, said there is no “silver bullet” to reduce obesity but stressed local authorities must seize on the new research to improve their methods of tackling the problem.
“It is an issue that requires action at a national, local, family and individual level,” she said.
“(The new) information will help local authorities to understand the extent of the problem in their area and support their on-going efforts to tackle overweight and obesity and improve the health of their local population.
“Public Health England is committed to helping tackle the levels of people who are overweight and obese by supporting our local authorities to develop a broad programme of action to reduce levels of excess weight.
“Local authorities are ideally placed to develop co-ordinated action across their departments, services and partner organisations to tackle overweight and obesity in the local population.
“This new data will enable local councils to monitor progress towards the national ambition of achieving a downward trend in excess weight by 2020.”
People who are overweight or obese have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. Health problems associated with being overweight or obese costs the NHS more than £5 billion every year.