There are high levels of obesity in areas of the UK previously thought not to contain them, according to a new “fat map” of the country.
The map, created by Dr Foster Research, suggests the problem may be getting worse when compared with a similar map published two years ago.
Researchers said the 2008 map has revealed high levels of obesity in the Midlands, Wales, North East and parts of the South East.
The data, from GP practices across the UK, shows that more than one in 10 patients registered with GPs in some parts of the country are obese.
The Shetland Isles has the highest proportion, with 15.5% of patients being obese, closely followed by many parts of Wales.
The North East has a similar problem, including Wakefield District PCT where 9.3% of patients are obese, Doncaster PCT where 10.1% of patients are obese and Barnsley PCT where 10.8% of patients are obese.
Alex Young, senior project manager at Dr Foster Research, said: “Urban areas might be dealing with the problem more effectively but in the outlying regions it seems to be getting worse – places like Newport, Plymouth, St Davids, Stockport.
“If you look at Liverpool, Sheffield and Bristol, the levels are low. In the outlying areas, health services are maybe less available. In a city, the services are better, such as local access to GPs.
The map and accompanying report were complied using data from GP practices relating to the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) for 2006/07.
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