Stevenage has Highest Levels of Obesity in County

STEVENAGE has the highest levels of obesity in Hertfordshire, a recent report has revealed. The Herts County Council (HCC) report shows that the county s levels of adult obesity at 24.6 per cent is now running higher than the national average of 23.6 per

STEVENAGE has the highest levels of obesity in Hertfordshire, a recent report has revealed.

The Herts County Council (HCC) report shows that the county's levels of adult obesity at 24.6 per cent is now running higher than the national average of 23.6 per cent for England.

Stevenage has the highest levels of adult obesity in Hertfordshire at 25.9 per cent, while North Herts stands at 22.1 per cent.

In Stevenage, obesity in reception children has increased from 8.4 per cent in 2006/07 to 12.2 per cent in 2007/08.


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The number of overweight reception children has increased from 12.9 per cent to 16 per cent.

Obesity in Year 6 children in Stevenage has increased from 13.1 per cent to 17.1 per cent, and the number of overweight children has increased from 12.1 per cent to 15.2 per cent.

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The report highlighted the role played by personal, social and economic factors, with those on lower incomes most likely to be affected by obesity.

It also considered the challenge of getting residents to act on information and advice about healthy eating and exercise to help tackle the problem.

The report said the cost of obesity is a "major burden for the NHS" and the cost to the primary care trusts (PCTs) in Hertfordshire in 2007 was �265 million.

A number of public health programmes are already in place to help address obesity, including MEND (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do it) and Henry (Healthy Exercise and Nutrition for the Really Young).

At the same time, the report recommended that there needs to be more "joined up working" between the PCTs, GP surgeries, county and district councils to help promote working with families, more physical activity and healthy eating.

Michael Downing, chairman of HCC's Public Health (Obesity) Topic Group, said: "This report brings together evidence for the alarming and growing health problem of obesity in Hertfordshire, together with efforts being made by various responsible organisations to deal with it.

"It does describe an enormous challenge, but it also indicates that much could be achieved at a local level through more partnership working.

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