Gosport and Havant named as the fattest towns in Hampshire by obesity report

NATIONAL lockdowns and sedentary lifestyles have weighed heavily on the health of Hampshire, according to a new report.

Thursday, 9th December 2021, 5:01 pm

Nearly two thirds of adults, a third of Year 6 children, and a quarter of children in reception are overweight or obese in Hampshire, according to the county council.

A report by the public health department for the health and wellbeing board, which met in Winchester today, highlighted that 42 per cent of people do not get their daily ‘five a day’ intake.

More than 65 per cent of people in Gosport, Havant and Rushmoor (Aldershot and Farnborough) are considered overweight or obese, making them the fattest districts in the county.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Fast food and the Covid-19 pandemic have been blamed for county's health problems. Picture: Getty Images

Read More

Read More
Hampshire roadworks see inflation hike of 17 per cent in just one year

East Hampshire is considered the fittest part of Hampshire - but more than 56 per cent of people living there are still overweight.

Cllr Liz Fairhurst, executive member for adult services and public health, said the outcome of the report was somewhat expected.

'I can't say I'm surprised, because there have been problems in these areas for quite some time,' she said.

'There is a correlation between deprivation and obesity, and the Covid-19 pandemic certainly hasn't helped things.

'But what does worry me is the level of obesity in children - particularly at a primary school age. I think that's something we have to tackle within families, not just at an individual level.'

Adults working from home have shifted towards becoming less active, with the most deprived areas also having four times more takeaway outlets per person than more developed parts of the county.

To tackle the obesity levels in Hampshire, the county council has developed the Hampshire Healthy Weight Strategy, which will run from 2022 to 2026.

Here, a multi-agency focus is being placed on finding the root causes of obesity in the county, targeting those most at risk (those in the 45-74 age range and in areas of deprivation) and breaking down the stigma of obesity and weight loss.

Julie Amies, chief executive of Hampshire charity Energise Me, said: ‘We need to remind ourselves of people who are in compromised positions, perhaps due to mental health or other struggles.

‘We have to do things with people, not for them.’

Public health consultant Sian Davies added: ‘We need systemic changes, but cannot make assumptions about people, especially when it comes to mental health.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

Subscribe here for unlimited access to all our coverage, including Pompey, for just 26p a day.