Ealing obesity figures weigh in better than most

This Is Local London: Breakdown of Ealing's weight: Infographic by Melissa Massey Breakdown of Ealing's weight: Infographic by Melissa Massey

ALMOST six in 10 Ealing adults are overweight, according to Public Health England.

Set against neighbouring Hillingdon, Hounslow, Harrow and Brent, however, Ealing emerges as second best, with 57.3 per cent of adults carrying excess weight.

Adults in Hillingdon, Hounslow and Harrow are collectively 5.7 per cent more overweight or obese than in Ealing.

In contrast, Brent adults carrying excess weight were 3 per cent lower than in Ealing.

This new data focuses on variation between areas for the first time.

Cabinet member for health and adult services, Cllr Patricia Walker, said: “I want to help and encourage more of our residents to achieve a healthy weight, so they can enjoy the health and social benefits that come with healthy living.”

Ealing Council has introduced London’s first cycle hub and an active travel plan for schools.

At 42.1 per cent, the proportion of healthy residents (by weight) in Ealing is better than three of its neighbours (Hillingdon, Hounslow and Harrow), where figures barely exceed 37 per cent.

Brent appears slightly better than Ealing with 43.9 per cent of adults bearing a healthy weight.

Dr Walker added: “Ealing’s excellent sport and leisure facilities, managed by Active Ealing, run activity programmes specifically targeted at hard-to-reach groups. I hope as many people as possible take advantage of the great educational and physical activities Ealing has to offer.”

A Department of Health toolkit estimates that treatment for diseases relating to excess weight in Ealing will cost the NHS in the region of £98.8 million by 2015.

Obesity and excess weight leads to numerous health problems, including an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, fertility problems and mental health problems.

Late last year, a new initiative was launched in Ealing to give greater advice and support to residents with diabetes.

Ealing is now home to six diabetes clinics, at Grand Union Village, Featherstone Road, Southall Broadway, Acton, Ealing Hospital and Hillview Practice.

Dr Raj Chandok, Ealing CCG Clinical Lead for Diabetes and vice-chair, said: “Our message to people in Ealing is diabetes can be avoidable. Eat a low-fat, low-sugar diet, take regular exercise, moderate alcohol consumption and don’t smoke.”

According to the clinical commissioning group, Ealing had more than 20,000 people with diabetes in November 2013.

This number is predicted to rise to 40,000 over 10 years. Dr Chandok said the real tragedy for many was that diabetes could be avoided.

Healthy weight is defined in the study as a body mass index (BMI) greater than or equal to 18.5 but less than 25kg/m2 among all people aged 20 or over.

Obesity is defined as a BMI greater than or equal to 30kg/m2.

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