Battle of the bulge continues in town

Gym equipment in Central Park, Boston.
Gym equipment in Central Park, Boston.

More than two thirds of people aged 16 or over in Boston are carrying excess weight, according to new Government figures.

Some 69.9 per cent of the borough’s residents of this age group are given as overweight or obese - that is, with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or above - in the data, published by Public Health England.

However, the borough is in better shape than its neighbour East Lindsey where the figure is 73.8 per cent - the third highest in England.

Boston, which in 2006 was ranked number one in the country for the proportion of obese adults by the same body, came in at number 41 out of 326 in the rundown.

The national average was 63.8 percent, with Copeland, in Cumbria, at the top with 75.9 per cent.

Ian Farmer, Boston Borough Council’s partnerships and sustainability manager, said: “Boston’s obesity levels remain a challenge and it’s not something you can turn round overnight. We are working on a local strategy with partners for tackling lifestyle issues, which we still see as a priority, incorporating obesity and physical activity.”

He added: “We have already taken positive measures with the introduction of health walks, exercise referrals, improvements to the swimming and gym facilities at Geoff Moulder Leisure Complex, free-to-use outdoor gym equipment and fitness trails and by supporting community growing and healthy eating programmes.”

Prof Kevin Fenton, director of health and wellbeing at Public Health England, said people who have excess weight are more likely to develop type two diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.

He said: “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.”