South Holland is in danger of becoming a district of fatties after predictions that half the population of the UK will be obese by 2050 “underestimated” the scale of the crisis.
The obesity level in the district is already 26.9 per cent, compared to the national average of 24.2 per cent.
A hard-hitting awareness campaign is being called for by the National Obesity Forum, which predicted the crisis in 2007.
The forum is also calling on family doctors to proactively discuss weight management with patients, routinely measure children’s height and weight and check adults’ waist circumferences.
Dr Miles Langdon, of the South Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Obesity is a serious issue for the NHS in Lincolnshire and, if we do nothing, then things will continue to get worse.”
Health officials are already bearing the weight of the crisis – and taking steps to encourage residents to get fitter and healthier.
Ginny Blackoe, general manager for the South Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, said: “A number of clinics around the county do have bariatric equipment, so that patients with particular needs can be accommodated.
“Nurses in both our hospitals and in the community routinely provide lifestyle advice as part of their care to patients.
“Patients are also signposted, where appropriate, to more formal lifestyle services, including maintaining a healthy weight through exercise and diet.”
Coun Patricia Bradwell, executive councillor for adult care and health at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “People with a BMI over 30 could be eligible for 12 weeks of free WeightWatchers sessions on referral through their GP.
“Contact your GP in the first instance if you have concerns about your weight.”
l In next week’s edition, the Spalding Guardian is launching a four-week feature to inspire readers to improve their health and fitness. Tracey Vowels, who runs the Fitness Company in Spalding, will be providing tips and exercises to try at home.