Watford: Three in five adults ‘overweight or obese’

The data, released by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, shows that an estimated 22.4 per cent of the town’s adults were obese in 2021/22.

This has increased from the 21.2 per cent figure seen seven years ago.

However, figures show that the overall number of overweight adults in Watford has decreased from 61.7 per cent to 59.3 per cent.

Watford’s Lib Dem mayor, Peter Taylor, told the Watford Observer: “The ability for people to live a healthy and happy life is very important.

“In Watford there are lots of opportunities for people to engage in a healthy lifestyle…

“…It is vital that the government takes more action to tackle the cost of living crisis and help people to live healthy lives.”

He added that the cost of living crisis and inflation hitting food prices are eating into residents’ finances and affecting dietary choices.

“It is also causing anxiety and stress to many which could be having a knock-on effect on people’s ability to engage in exercise as may the need to work more hours to make ends meet,” he added.

“For too long the government has failed to take the necessary steps needed to improve the health and wellbeing of residents across the country.”

Watford’s Conservative MP Dean Russell was contacted for comment.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care has claimed that obesity costs the NHS around £6.5 billion per year, and is the second-biggest cause of cancer.

The spokesperson added: “Trials of new obesity treatments and technologies are being backed by £20 million of government funding, and we will introduce restrictions banning adverts on TV for less healthy foods before 9pm.”

Across the country, 63.8 per cent of adults aged 18 and over were overweight or living with obesity.

Around 25.9 per cent of adults in England were estimated to be living with obesity.

Katharine Jenner, director of the Obesity Health Alliance, said: “These new figures cover a period during which the government had an ‘oven ready’ obesity strategy that could have helped prevent the continued rise in obesity rates, yet failed to enact it, and now we are reaping the consequences.

“Our country is flooded with cheap, unhealthy, heavily processed food and billions is spent on marketing. This government must make it easier, cheaper and more appealing to buy healthier food and drinks, to help turn the tide on obesity.”

Watford Observer | St. Albans News