Shock report shows with more than seven out of 10 overweight, obesity in Fenland is among the worst in the country
PUBLISHED: 14:56 05 February 2014 | UPDATED: 14:56 05 February 2014
Seven out of ten adults in Fenland are obese making the district area one of the worst in the country for people who over eat, according to latest Government figures.
The news comes just weeks after a county-wide launch of a healthy eating initiative to encourage people to lower their sugar and fat intake by making small swaps in their diets.
Figures have been released as part of a national drive towards pushing down obesity by 2020.
Tackling over eating has become a top priority for health chiefs after it emerged that two thirds of adults (65 per cent) in East Anglia are overweight.
That number rises to 72.4 per cent in the Fenland area.
Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk are above the national average for the percentage of people with a body mass index of 25 and above.
The Fens is the fattest in the region with King’s Lynn and West Norfolk not far behind at 70.3 per cent and Cambridge a much more respectable 54.3 per cent with Norwich 57.8 per cent.
Obesity costs the NHS £5billion a year with the problem causing an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.
Being overweight can also effect self esteem and mental health.
High levels of obesity can be influenced by social and economic deprivation and agge, according to public health chiefs who said teh rate of increase in obesity had reached a plateua and slowed down in recent years.
Gina Radford, Anglia and Essex Public health England director, said: “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.
“There is no silver bullet to reducing obesity. It’s an issue that requires action at national, local, family and individual level.
“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.”
The Cambridgeshire County Council Smart Swaps campaign calls on families to sign up and make one easy change – like swapping sugary drinks to low sugar drinks, or swapping a biscuit for a piece of fruit.
Dr Liz Robin, Cambridgeshire County Council’s Director for Public Health, said: “Signing up to Smart Swaps means that by making simple changes to what you eat and drink it is possible to have a real and healthy impact on your diet. For the average family this could mean a reduction of three quarters a bag of sugar over four weeks. Over a period of time this really starts to add up.”