More than half of adults in Elmbridge are classed as overweight or obese, new figures have revealed.

A study by Public Health England (PHE), carried out between January 2012 and January 2013, looked at how many people were tipping the scales.

The study showed that 56.7 per cent of adults in the borough were carrying excess weight, compared with 60.8 per cent Surrey-wide.

The figures were 62.8 per cent for Runnymede, 63.4 per cent for Spelthorne, 55.1 per cent in Kingston and 47.6 per cent in Richmond.

Excess weight is defined as an adult, aged 16 or above, with a BMI greater than or equal to 25kg/m2, which is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by the square of their height in metres.

Nationally, 63.8 per cent of adults are overweight.

Professor Kevin Fenton, director of health and wellbeing at PHE, said: “Local authorities are ideally placed to develop coordinated action across their departments, services and partner organisations to tackle overweight and obesity in the local population.

“Many local authorities are already working hard to reduce obesity levels and these new data will help all local areas monitor their progress in tackling these longstanding problems.

“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.”

Last month, figures released by PHE revealed that 14.6 per cent of reception children and 26.2 per cent of year 6 children in the borough are either overweight or obese.

The health authority said problems associated with being overweight or obese cost the NHS more than £5bn each year.