Wigan shamed as one of the most obese boroughs in UK

Wigan has one of the biggest numbers of takeaways per head of population
Wigan has one of the biggest numbers of takeaways per head of population

Wigan outweighs the national average of obesity-related hospital admissions by more than double, making it the sixth most overweight borough in the country.

Public Health England has this month released shock figures which highlight the growing problem of obesity in Wigan and Leigh.

The study shows that more than double the amount of Wiganers are being admitted to hospital with a primary or secondary diagnosis of obesity.

In England there were 1,159 per 100,000 people seeking hospital care for obesity in 2016/17 yet in the same period a whopping 2,361 Wiganers per 100,000 were seen for the same problems.

The Wirral was found to be the most overweight local authority in the entire country with 3,094 admissions per 100,000. Cornwall, Southampton, Slough and Walsall were the only areas with more obesity than Wigan.

Wigan Council has said it is addressing the issue and has already introduced measures to tackle weight problems from an early age.

Prof Kate Ardern, director of public health at the town hall, said: “We recognise how important it is to instil healthy habits in young people and that by doing so will help them to go on and continue to lead healthy lifestyles into adult life.

“There are now more than 9,000 children in 60 primary schools and 12 early years settings participating in The Daily Mile and we are continuing to work with our early years settings to introduce the Daily Toddle.

“Both these schemes are having a huge impact on our schools and ensuring children are getting the daily physical exercise they need.

“Our scheme to tackle childhood obesity Let’s Get Movin’ has been highlighted by the Local Government Association as an innovative project which gets the whole family exercising and eating healthily.

“In partnership with a range of stakeholders from across health, education and social care, Let’s Get Movin’ works with people aged 0-17 years and their families to improve health outcomes through education and physical activity.”

The scheme incorporates the specialist weight management service, health promotion work and healthy lifestyles intervention and prevention education programme provided to schools and nurseries.

In Wigan, women are far more likely to be obese than men, with 2,753 obesity-related admissions per 100,000 females last year compared to 1,976 for men.

Prof Ardern added: “Our Lose Weight Feel Great programme has a huge uptake and has seen fantastic long lasting results with many people changing their whole lifestyle as a result.

“Our primary rates of obesity are actually going down and we expect to see the other rates of secondary consequences start to go down as there are fewer people becoming obese.”

The borough has already been named and shamed in a previous report from the Wigan Post into the growing number of fast food and takeaway outlets.

Figures from the Food Environment Assessment Tool revealed than in November last year there were 1.37 takeaways per 1,000 residents.