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North East industrial legacy revealed in obesity survey

Date 17 Sep 2006
Author The Editor
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A former mining town in the North East has been identified as an obesity hot-spot. Residents of Easington in County Durham are the most likely people in England to be obese, according to new research.  Credit reference company Experian and analysts Dr Foster Intelligence combined data on Body Mass Index (BMI) with a recent BRMB health survey and postcode classification analysis, to reveal which types of people have high and low body weight and where they live. In Easington, the risk of obesity is 22% higher than the average in England. Corby in Northamptonshire also showed the scars of its declining steel industry, with the risk of obesity put at 21% higher than average. At the other end of the scale, the place with the lowest risk of obesity in England is Kensington and Chelsea.In the study of 434 districts across the UK, South Tyneside and Sedgefield were also included in the top ten of places identified as most at risk of obesity, with Sunderland, Wansbeck and Hartlepool coming in at 12th, 13th and 18th respectively. Emily Sparks, Health consultant at Experian, commented: “Our joint research identifies areas most at risk of obesity related conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Through better health mapping, we can now provide timely and relevant information to enable the more effective targeting of communications and the delivery of preventative care to social groups and neighbourhoods most at risk of obesity.” Halting the year on year rise in obesity among children under 11 by 2010 is a key government target and is part of a wider strategy to tackle obesity in the population as a whole.

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