England has been named as the fattest nation in Europe and Birmingham tops the chart with Europe’s highest obesity levels.
However even the slimmer parts of Britain are heavier than the fattest in some of Europe’s countries. The South-East was found to be the slimmest region of Britain with an obesity level of 18%. In comparison Sweden’s fattest region has 16% of its population obese.
The figures are an embarrassment to Birmingham with £15 million of NHS funds being directly targeted at tackling obesity.
The funding has used shock tactics, free gym memberships and even tummy tucks in an attempt to slash the size of waistlines in the region. However the new figures highlight that all attempts at tackling obesity have failed. The region’s doctors and dieticians have predicted the problem will only increase as the recession continues and have called on the Government to act now by targeting fast food firms.
Doctor Shahrad Taheri, a weight management consultant based in Heartlands Hospital has told how the hospital currently fits three hundred and fifty gastric bands a year at a cost of approximately £2 million to the taxpayer. However she highlights the money that is saved by the NHS in the long-term, as without surgery these patients are likely to incur more expensive treatment for heart conditions and diabetes. Doctor Taheri calls for increased education and food warnings yet stated fast food companies needed to be made to take more responsility for their contribution to the problem.
The new Figures have come from the Association of Public Health Observatories and name Birmingham as the European Union’s fattest city. 29% of the adult population are classified as obese, more than twice that of the European average of 14%. The most worrying figure is the high obesity levels in children. In Birmingham a shocking quarter of eleven to twelve year olds are classified as obese.
The growing size of the population has been reflected in the adaptations being made to NHS services to help them cope with oversize patients. Over size mortuary fridge cranes have been installed in the new QE hospital in Solihull. Hospitals across the entire region have acquired super-size beds, operating tables, and the Ambulance Service has been forced to adapt 3 ambulances to facilitate carrying patients who weigh over nineteen stone.
Photo courtesy of Malingering, under Creative Commons licence.