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Seven in 10 Black Country adults overweight or obese

By Richard Guttridge | Health | Published:

Seven in 10 adults in the Black Country are overweight or obese, latest figures show, as the Government launches a strategy to slim down the nation’s waistlines.

The Government wants to tackle obesity

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a range of measures to help people shed the pounds, including a ban on some junk food promotions and stricter advertising controls.

And latest figures from Public Health England show the scale of the obesity crisis in the Black Country - with 70 per cent classed as overweight or obese.

The fattest part of the Black Country is Walsall where, according to the data, from 2018/19 a staggering 73 per cent are overweight.

The total is 72 per cent in Dudley, 71 per cent in Sandwell and 67 per cent in Wolverhampton.

Meanwhile, 64 per cent of adults are overweight in Staffordshire.

Figures also revealed how many children are classed as overweight.

In Dudley, 26 per cent of four to five year olds and 39 per cent in Year 6 are overweight or obese.

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In Sandwell it is 25 per cent and 43 per cent, and in Walsall it is 26 per cent and 40 per cent.

A quarter - 25 per cent - of children aged four to five in Staffordshire are overweight or obese.

Professor Dame Parveen Kumar, board of science chairwoman at the British Medical Association, said obesity can have a “devastating” impact on people’s health, including the increased risk from the coronavirus.

She added: “As the Government’s new strategy recognises, this has been a real wake-up call for the nation, and it’s imperative that we use this opportunity to make changes for good, not only for society today, but also for generations to come.”

Katharine Jenner, campaign director at charity Action on Sugar and Action on Salt, said: “We are delighted that the Government has finally recognised that these huge food and drink companies have not been acting in our best interests when they advertise and discount their heavily processed, high in fat, salt and sugar, food and drinks.”

The Prime Minister’s obesity strategy includes barring shops from pushing “buy one, get one free” promotions on unhealthy products and ending junk food adverts on television and online before the 9pm watershed.

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Investigations Editor - @RichG_star

Investigations Editor for the Express & Star.

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