Healthcare news

Three out of five in north still overweight or obese

Three out of every five adults are overweight or obese in the north, a figure that has not changed in five years. Picture by Clara Molden/PA Wire
John Monaghan

THREE in five adults in the north are still classified as being overweight or obese - with no improvement in the figures in five years.

The Health Survey Northern Ireland has recorded the weight of the population since 2010, but there has never been a majority classed as normal weight since it was established.

More than one in five adults - 22% - were registered as obese in 2014/15, while 3% were deemed morbidly obese, an increase of 1% on the previous year.

A further third of the population is overweight, according to assessments of body mass index (BMI) levels, a figure which has not dropped despite high-profile public health campaigns.

Earlier this month The Irish News reported that the cost to the Fire Service of rescuing obese people trapped in their own homes has doubled in three years.

Since 2010 fire crews across Northern Ireland have been called out to assist more than 220 obese people, with some weighing as much as 60 stone.

The overall cost of the call-outs - many of which require specialist equipment - was more than £650,000.

Alarm has also been expressed about the implications for the health service of high levels of obesity.

The Public Health Agency says having a waistline of 37 inches or more for a man and 32 inches or more for a woman can increase the risk of developing heart disease, some cancers, type 2 diabetes and stroke.

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