East Lindsey is obesity hotspot


The Public Health Authority have released figures confirming that 64 percent of adults in England are overweight or obese.

These figures also make especially poor reading for Lincolnshire residents, as figures released yesterday show that the county is one of the country’s obesity hotspots; with East Lindsey’s obesity figures at 73.8 percent.

Major settlements incorporated in East Lindsey include: Alford, Spilsby, Mablethorpe, Skegness, Horncastle and Louth.

According to Public Health England, these figures have been the estimated position for some years and now, for the first time, local data on excess weight has become available.

The new data shows for the first time the considerable variation in the numbers of people who are overweight or obese in different parts of England.

Overall, 63.8 of adults in England have a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or over, whereas a figure of between 18.5 and 24.9 is thought to be normal for a healthy adult.

Copeland in West Cumbria is top of the local authority area ‘fat list’, with the borough weighing in with 75.9% of its population classed as overweight or obese.

The fattest region is the North East with 68% overweight, followed by the West Midlands (65.7%).

The other obesity hotspots include Doncaster (74.4%), East Lindsey in Lincolnshire (73.8%) and Ryedale in North Yorkshire (73.7%).

The thinnest local authority areas include several in London, such as Kensington and Chelsea (45.9%) and Richmond upon Thames (47.6%).

In response to local data, Cllr Patricia Bradwell, Executive Councillor for adult care and health at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “This is a key issue nationally and across Lincolnshire.

There are pockets in Lincolnshire where this is more of an issue, and it seems to be linked to factors like deprivation, rurality and people leading more sedentary lifestyles.

Some communities are more reliant on cheap processed foods with hidden calories and fat, or may have difficulty accessing leisure facilities.”

Cllr Bradwell added: “We commission preventative services to reduce the risk of people becoming overweight and obese, such as healthy eating classes and exercise sessions, targeted at the communities where they are most needed.

We also support those trying to lose weight, with weight management programmes.

In 2010/11, between 8,000 and 9,000 people had participated in locally commissioned activity programmes in Lincolnshire, and 4000 adults per year in Lincolnshire are currently benefitting from a free 12-week Weight Watchers programme. Both of these are available to people through their GPs.”

Professor Kevin Fenton, Director of Health and Wellbeing at PHE said: “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. Many local authorities are already working hard to reduce obesity levels and these new data will help all local areas monitor their progress in tackling these long standing problems. Public Health England is committed to supporting local government and the local NHS.”

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 £5 billion each year.

The Skegness Standard is awaiting a comment From East Lindsey District Council.