Blackpool has the highest number of overweight and obese people in Lancashire, new figures reveal.
The latest statistics from Public Health England (PHE) shows nearly three in four people – 72.1 per cent – living in Blackpool were overweight or obese.
It compares to Lancashire as a whole, where 62.7 per cent of people are obese or overweight.
Nationally, 63.8 per cent of adults are overweight or obese, with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or over.
BMI is measured by comparing a person’s weight with their height.
The level of BMIs above 25 in Blackpool places the town in the top 10 local authorities with the most overweight and obese residents.
Coun Sarah Riding, Blackpool Council cabinet member for health, said: “These are worrying statistics and another indication of the health problems we are facing in Blackpool.
“The health and well being board has already identified weight as one of their key priorities and a detailed action plan has been developed. The action plan is much broader than just encouraging people to lose weight, it covers everything from working with catering outlets so they provide healthier options to developing new menus for school children.
“We are in the process of reviewing the care pathways we have for adults with excess weight. Our existing weight management schemes are closely monitored but this new data released today will help us determine what services we need in the future ensuring they will provide the best results for the people of Blackpool.
“It is important that we support and encourage people, and not be judgemental about their problems.”
PHE says 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.
Health problems associated with being overweight or obese cost the NHS over £5bn each year.
PHE’s Cumbria and Lancashire centre director, Dr Jane Rossini, said: “There is no silver bullet to reducing obesity. It is an issue that requires action at national, local, family and individual level. This new data will enable local councils to monitor progress towards a downward trend in excess weight by 2020.”