Council combatting obesity 'challenge' as figures show district is second highest
PUBLISHED: 16:00 03 April 2018
North Somerset has the second highest number of overweight adults in South West England, new figures show.
Statistics released by Public Health England (PHE) show 66.9 per cent of adults in the district were classified as overweight or obese from 2015-16, compared to the regional average of 61.1 per cent.
North Somerset’s percentage is also the fourth highest in the whole of the south of England.
North Somerset Council admits the statistics are a ‘challenge’ but says it offers a wide range of ways for people to cut down their weight.
The authority’s consultant in public health Lodee Dudley said: “Excess weight in adults remains a challenge for all local authorities across the UK.
“The causes are wide ranging, meaning approaches to promote healthy weight need to consider ways this can be facilitated, such as through the environments we live in, the food choices we make, food quality and access to healthy foods, skills to prepare healthy meals to name but a few.
“Our public health team encourages healthy lifestyles throughout the lifecourse in a bid to prevent obesity later in life.
“Interventions with adults focus on lifestyle changes such as increasing physical activity under the Go4Life scheme, healthy eating, weight management support, cooking skills and our health trainer service in Weston to support individuals on a one-to-one basis.”
North Somerset’s figure is also alarming for healthcare services with overweight adults often suffering from additional health problems.
Diabetes is a particular concern with the number of people in the district diagnosed with type one and type two strains of the condition increasing by 899 since 2017, taking the percentage just shy of the national average of 6.6 per cent of the population.
Lodee Dudley added: “Excess weight is a risk factor for many common conditions including cardiovascular disease, cancers and diabetes.
“North Somerset is part of the national Healthier You: Diabetes Prevention Programme pilot scheme and all GP practices in the area can refer eligible people on to the programme.
“The aim is to support people to make lifestyle changes that reduce the risk of progressing to develop type two diabetes.”
It is estimated obesity is costing the NHS £6billion per year.