Health chiefs have pledged to continue the fight against obesity in Wolverhampton.

It comes as new Public Health England data shows that 69.8% of adults in Wolverhampton are overweight or obese, compared to a national average of 64%. The average in the West Midlands is 65.7%.

Though the proportion of adults who are overweight in Wolverhampton has remained fairly stable for the last few years, Wolverhampton's Director of Public Health Ros Jervis says more should be done to tackle the problem.

She said: "Being overweight or obese has a considerable impact on people's lives, not only in terms of their health but also their quality of life, and we are determined to do all we can to reduce the problem here in Wolverhampton.

"Rates of obesity have more than doubled in the last 25 years. Modern life creates a sedentary environment where high calorie food is always around, so being overweight has become the norm for many adults.

"The common view is that if overweight people ate less and did more exercise, this would solve the problem. The reality is that most people would have to override their instincts, habits and the triggers in their day to day lives which encourage the consumption of high calorie foods, such as the availability of fast food and special offers on snacks and junk food.

"There's no easy fix but we know that by getting organisations like the NHS, the council, businesses and the voluntary sector to work together with individuals, families and communities, we can tackle the problem.

"The council and our health partners already do a great deal of work to address weight issues, running various fitness programmes including the successful Fit for A Fiver scheme and encouraging healthy eating among our youngest residents through our very successful Food Dudes programme in schools.

"But we should and must do better for the sake of the current and future generations."

Professor Kevin Fenton, Director of Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England, said: "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. Overall health problems associated with being overweight or obese cost the NHS over £5 billion each year.

"There is no silver bullet to reducing obesity; it is a complex issue that requires action at individual, family, local and national levels. We can all play our part in this by eating a healthy balanced diet and being more active."

For healthy living advice and tips, please visit the Type=links;Linkid=3170;Title=NHS Change4Life;Target=_blank; website.

  • released: Thursday 6 February, 2014