Health chiefs have announced plans to invest £2 million into tackling obesity – after shocking figures revealed almost 75 per cent of people in Doncaster are overweight.
Figures released today by Public Health England show the borough has the second highest percentage of overweight adults in the country, with 74.4 per cent of people in Doncaster carrying excess weight. Doncaster is also top of the table for obesity in Yorkshire and the Humber.
The data is based on self-reported height and weight measurements collected by Sport England since January 2012, and classifies as ‘overweight’ anyone with a body mass index of more than 25.
Director of Public Health, Dr Tony Baxter, says combating obesity is a top priority for Doncaster’s Health and Wellbeing Board.
“In Doncaster we are investing over £2 million to tackle the problem with our partners over the next three years,” said Dr Baxter.
“Work includes specialist support, empowering people to make healthier choices, and opportunities to get active through initiatives such as our walking and cycling festivals.
“Public health is now the responsibility of the council and this has presented more opportunities to improve access to healthier food and green spaces to encourage physical activity.
“We welcome the use of this new measurement, as it is more accurate and reliable than estimates used previously, and we will make use of it in the ongoing developments of our services.”
Weight management services have been available in Doncaster since 2009 and, following a recent evaluation, a new-look service is to be launched.
What was a 12-week programme will now take place over six months, with an additional six months of follow-on support.
Coun Pat Knight, Cabinet Member for Public Health, said Doncaster Council is working hard to improve the quality of life for residents.
She added: “We recognise there is an issue with excess weight.
“This new scheme will focus on what we know to be the most effective strategy for losing weight – helping whole families improve their physical and mental health and wellbeing together.”
According to the figures, 63.8 per cent of adults in England are overweight, with Doncaster beaten on the fat map only by Copeland in Cumbria where 75.9 per cent of adults are too heavy.