Figures show 68% of people in Sunderland are overweight or obese

OBESE: Hartlepool is one of the heaviest towns in the Teesside area
OBESE: Hartlepool is one of the heaviest towns in the Teesside area
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MORE than two thirds of people in Sunderland are classed as overweight or obese, latest figures show.

Data released by public health chiefs has revealed 68.9 per cent of Wearsiders are carrying an unhealthy amount of fat according to their Body Mass Index (BMI).

The figures show more than three-quarters of people in some English towns and cities are overweight or obese, according to figures.

For the first time, England-wide data reveals the fattest and thinnest parts of England and the scale of the obesity crisis.

Overall, 63.8% of adults in England are overweight or obese, with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or over.

The fattest region is the North East, where 68 per cent of people are overweight or obese, followed by the West Midlands at 65.7%.

The fattest county is Cumbria, with 68.3 per cent of people overweight or obese, followed by North Yorkshire and Staffordshire, both on 67.9%.

Copeland in west Cumbria is the fattest local authority area (75.9 per cent). Other regions where people are risking their health include Blackpool (72.1 per cent), Milton Keynes (72.5 per cent), County Durham (72.5 per cent), Fenland in Cambridgeshire (72.4 per cent), Bolsover in Derbyshire (72.5 per cent), East Lindsey in Lincolnshire (73.8 per cent), Doncaster in South Yorkshire (74.4 per cent) and Sedgemoor in Somerset (73.4 per cent).

Professor Kevin Fenton, director of health and wellbeing at Public Health England, said: “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.

“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 £5billion each year.

“There is no silver bullet to reducing obesity; it is a complex issue that requires action at individual, family, local and national levels. We can all play our part in this by eating a healthy, balanced diet and being more active.”