9:59am Monday 17th February 2014
By Hayley Mortimer
SHOCKING new data has revealed that more than 60 per cent of people in Stroud are obese or overweight.
Figures released last week by Public Health England show that 60.4 per cent of adults in the district are overweight or obese, with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or over.
Overall, 63.8 per cent of adults in England are overweight or obese, the figures show.
Experts blame a variety of factors, including social and economic deprivation and age.
Nationally, health problems associated with being overweight or obese costs the NHS more than £5 billion each year.
They also pose a weighty problem for Gloucestershire County Council, which is now charged with helping people shed those excess pounds.
Cllr Dorcas Binns, cabinet member for public health and communities, said: “We know that obesity is a growing problem and it’s one of the five key priorities identified within our Health and Wellbeing Strategy.
“We’re working with all of our partners and district councils to help prevent obesity and support people who are overweight.
“For example, those with a BMI of 30 or above can be referred by their GP to a weight management group for 12 weeks free support.
“We’re always looking for better ways to support people in losing weight, and this year we’re planning to trial text prompts to encourage local people with their lifestyle changes.”
The new figures class anybody with a BMI score of more than 25 as overweight.
BMI is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by the square of their height in metres.
Until now only estimates of adult obesity figures were available at local authority level and these dated from 2006 to 2008.
Dr Shona Arora, PHE director for Gloucestershire, said: “There is no silver bullet to reducing obesity.
“It is an issue that requires action at national, local, family and individual level.
“This new data will enable councils to understand the extent of the problem in their area and support their on-going efforts to tackle obesity.”
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