Report Reveals Scale of Hounslow's Obesity Problem

Proportion of adults overweight or obese above London average

Obesity rates tend to be higher in west of the borough
Obesity rates tend to be higher in west of the borough. Picture: YouTube

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In a report presented to the Hounslow Council cabinet, the borough’s Director of Public Health has outlined the challenges that are being presented by high levels of obesity.

Her report shows that the borough of Hounslow has the seventh highest rate of adults classified as overweight or obese among London local authorities with a rate of 61.1% Neighbouring Ealing is in eighth place with a rate of 60.7%

This compares with an average for the London region of 55.7% but is below the average for England which is 62.8%

Obesity rates are worse in the Mid-West of the borough with wards such as Heston Central, Hounslow West and Hounslow Heath having the highest rates. The Chiswick wards have a much lower rate with Brentford generally below the average. The report links the differing rates across the borough to levels of deprivation.

Hounslow borough performs better in terms of child obesity with 18.3% of children in reception year in the borough classified as overweight or obese in 2019/20 compared to a London average of 21.6% and a national average of 23.0% In the capital obesity among children does not appear to be rising but the most recently measured trend shows an increase in the rest of the country.

Chiswick again has the lowest level of childhood obesity on entry to school in the borough with Feltham West, Heston Central and Hanworth having the highest rates.

However, by Year 6 childhood obesity rates in Hounslow are back above the London average with 38.7% classified as overweight or obese compared to a London average of 38.2%

Map showing obesity rates among adults in Hounslow
Map showing obesity rates among adults in Hounslow

According to Public Health England in 2017 64% of adults in the country were either overweight or obese (67% men/62%women with on 34% of the population at a healthy weight.

A study found that younger generations are becoming obese at earlier ages and staying obese into adulthood with 30% of children aged 2-15 overweight or obese in the academic year 2017.

In 2019/20 there were more than a million hospital admissions linked to obesity in England and the problem had been increasing most rapidly in deprived areas.

Obesity is one of the primary risks for increased mortality rate of Covid-19.

Measures been proposed to tackle the problem include the promotion of healthy eating, more holiday food and activity programmes and increased physical activity in schools. New posts are to be created to support businesses and schools in their health offerings.

Wider council initiatives include encouraging active travel and promoting the use of outdoor space.

To see the full report click here.

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September 10, 2021

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