MORE than 68 per cent of adults in Hartlepool are classed as obese.
Figures released by Public Health England show that people over the age of 18-years-old in Hartlepool are among the heaviest in the Teesside area.
The statistics, recorded by local authority area, have revealed that 68.5 per cent of adults in the town are obese, compared to 63.6 per cent in Stockton, and 68.4 per cent in Middlesbrough.
In Sunderland, 68.9 per cent of its population is classed as obese, while in County Durham figures from the health body show that are 72.5 per cent of people are overweight.
This new data highlights for the first time the variation in the numbers of people who are overweight or obese across the country. In the North East the range is from 60.3 per cent in Newcastle, to 72.5 per cent in Durham.
Public Health England’s North East centre director, Dr Roberta Marshall, said: “Public Health England is committed to helping tackle the levels of people who are overweight and obese in the North East by supporting our local authorities to develop a broad programme of action to reduce levels of excess weight.
“There is no simple solution for reducing obesity. It is an issue that requires action at national, local, family and individual level.
“Local authorities are ideally placed to develop co-ordinated action across their departments, services and partner organisations to tackle overweight and obesity in the local population.
“This new data will enable local councils to monitor progress towards the national ambition of achieving a downward trend in excess weight by 2020.”
She added: “Today’s information will help local authorities to understand the extent of the problem in their area and support their on-going efforts to tackle overweight and obesity and improve the health of their local population.”
Obesity and people being overweight are influenced by a variety of factors, including social and economic deprivation and age.”
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 £5 billion each year.