COUNCIL bosses are urging Wearside residents to think about healthier lifestyle choices, after it emerged Sunderland is third highest in the country for obesity-related hospital admissions.
New figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), show that in 2012/13 Sunderland Teaching Primary Care Trust (PCT) admitted 263 people for obesity-related illness – 96 people per 100,000.
The North East of England had the highest primary admission rate in the country, at 73 per 100,000 population, which is more than triple the England average at 21 per 100,000.
With the third-highest figures in the UK, Sunderland was only outranked by Stockton-on-Tees PCT, which had 102 admissions per 100,000 people, and County Durham PCT which admitted 526 for obesity-related illness – 103 people per 100,000.
Coun John Kelly, responsible for public health, wellness and culture at Sunderland City Council, said: “Obesity is a regional and national issue that the city council and its public health partners are working together to address.
“Across Sunderland and the region there are established programmes offering help and support on diet, fitness and nutrition.
“A key to this is that people have to think about healthier choices in their lifestyles, so they can avoid too much weight gain.”
The council added that a reason for the city’s high figures could be the fact that Sunderland’s City Hospitals offer a specialised obesity service.
Sunderland’s Weight Loss Ward, which has its own ITV series, is one of the biggest in the country.
A spokesman for Sunderland City Hospital’s, said: “The obesity epidemic has developed because of the cultural changes in society resulting from a reduction in physical activity, exercise, and poor diet.
“The car and computer/TV culture encourages inactive lifestyles and blanket advertising, and promotion of inappropriate food and drink does huge harm to the development of healthy lifestyles.”