Almost two thirds of Havering residents are now overweight or obese
PUBLISHED: 11:33 04 February 2014 | UPDATED: 16:45 05 February 2014
Almost two thirds of people in Havering are overweight or obese, according to new figures.
Public Health England (PHE) found that 63.3 per cent of residents were over a healthy weight as gauged by the body mass index.
Although the figure is fractionally below the national average of 63.8pc, the authority said levels are still “worryingly high”.
Dr Yvonne Doyle, London director at PHE, said: “There is no silver bullet to reducing obesity. It is an issue that requires action at national, local, family and individual level.”
She urged everyone to swap an everyday snack for a more healthy option and encourage children to be active.
One woman whose weight peaked at 25 stone has set herself the challenge of losing half her body weight.
Lisa Mulock, 40, is aiming to raise £3,000 for Saint Francis Hospice, where she works as a nurse.
Read about her efforts here.
Child obesity is a growing problem in Havering and people living in economic deprivation are more likely to be overweight.
It can increase the risk of developing type two diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.
PHE said health problems associated with excess weight cost the NHS over £5billion each year.
Reducing obesity and improving fitness is one of the main priorities set by Havering Council’s health and wellbeing board.
Cllr Lesley Kelly, lead member for public protection, said: “Tackling obesity is one of our main health and wellbeing priorities and we already have a lot in place, including various programmes for weight management with the aim of intervening early and promoting healthier lifestyles.
“We’re also looking at how we can work more closely with our partners in health and in schools.
“We have some excellent facilities in the borough with access to more than 100 parks & open spaces, and leisure facilities in a number of them. Not to mention a comprehensive range of affordable activities for people of all ages. We want to build on this and get more people involved to improve their health and wellbeing.”
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