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A quarter of adults in England living with obesity

New data from the Heath Survey for England reveals that three in five adults were overweight or obese and approximately a quarter were living with obesity

A quarter of adults in England were obese last year, according to the latest statistics.

The new data from the Heath Survey for England also revealed that three in five adults are now overweight.

Katharine Jenner, Director of the Obesity Health Alliance responded to the data saying: ‘Right now, an average of 40% of women in the most deprived areas have obesity, that is double the average of 19% of women in the least deprived areas.’

Ms Jenner called on the Government to push ahead with plans to make it easier for people to be healthier and ‘to stem the tide of unhealthy food that’s flooding our streets, schools, workplaces and shops.’

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The survey showed that the share of adults who are overweight and obese increased by 3% in the most deprived areas and decreased by 1% in the least deprived.

Hugo Harper, director of healthy life at charity Nesta said: ‘The evidence clearly shows that individual level interventions, like providing nutritional information, are not enough.’

He added: ‘We need to change our food environment so that it’s easier and cheaper for people to eat healthy foods.’

This report comes in the wake of prime minister Rishi Sunak announcing that the Government would delay implementing legislation to restrict junk food advertising until October 2025, earlier this month.

The decision was slammed by health experts with Ms Jenner calling it an ‘attack on child health’ as low income households and children would be most affected by this delay.

She said: ‘A new study published in the BMJ shows that cases of type 2 diabetes in young adults have risen faster in the UK than anywhere else in the world. What other evidence does our prime minister need not to delay implementing key obesity policies?’

The legislation would have seen the introduction of a 9pm watershed for advertising junk foods to prevent the constant streaming of unhealthy foods and encourage more affordable, healthy food and drinks.

Chief executive of Diabetes UK, Chris Askew called the decision ‘disgraceful’.

He said: ‘The Government's shameful decision to delay these vital measures means that people living in the most deprived areas will continue to be pushed towards unhealthy options, further entrenching the health inequalities that exist in rates of type 2 diabetes and obesity in England.’

Ms Jenner urged the prime minister to reverse the decision and shorten the delay to 2024.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said: ‘The Government takes tackling obesity seriously. Having a fit and healthy population is essential for a thriving economy and will continue to work closely with industry to make it easier for people to make healthier choices.’