Hucknall rocked by obesity timebomb

PILING ON THE POUNDS -- levels of obesity in Hucknall have increased since a first-ever 'health profile' was created for the town
PILING ON THE POUNDS -- levels of obesity in Hucknall have increased since a first-ever 'health profile' was created for the town

THE WAISTLINE of Hucknall is expanding with shocking new figures revealing that three of every ten adults in the town are classed as being obese.

The news comes six years after Hucknall was labelled ‘Fat Town’.

That damning verdict gave rise to a series of health initiatives to help residents shed the pounds and adopt healthy lifestyles.

But since then, the number of overweight adults has actually GONE UP!

Back in 2006, 25.9% of adults were obese. Now, according to Department of Health (DOH) statistics, the rate stands at 28.4%.

Investigations show that the adult population are more likely to smoke, be overweight and struggle to stay active compared with national averages.

Men and women are also likely to die younger when compared to elsewhere in England, according to the figures.

The statistics were contained in the latest annual ‘health profiles’ produced for each district in England.

Boxer and fitness instructor John Machin, who runs Hucknall Boys ABC and Ultra Boxing on Watnall Road, said the figures were not surprising.

John (29) said: “We try to change people’s diets and bring in exercise, but people are usually eating a lot of junk food. Many seem unaware of how unhealthy some food and drink is.

“One girl who started training came with a can of pop and a KFC,” he said.

“I don’t think people are switched on when it comes to food and they should spend more time on the topic in schools.”

Children’s health is a more positive picture, with the profile showing the area is now above average when it comes to kids staying active.

Coun John Wilmott (Lab), of Hucknall, who is Ashfield District Council’s deputy leader, said the report showed efforts to improve young people’s health were working.

But he admitted the authority and its partners still face a ‘difficult task’ when it comes to improving health overall.

“It’s all about eating habits,” he said. “We do have a lot of deprivation in the area. People have to look at what they can afford to spend when it comes to quality food.”

The profile, published as a guide to help tackle health inequality, shows 26.1 per cent of people in Hucknall and the rest of Ashfield smoke, which is above the national average but down more than five per cent on 2010.

Just 8.3% of adults are classed as pshyically active, compared to a national average of 11.5%

Other figures show the average local life-expectancy for local men is 77.1 years, compared to 78.3 nationally, while local women are expected to only live 80.8 years, compared to 82.3 across England.

Dr Chris Kenny, Director of Public Health for NHS Nottinghamshire County, said: “A balanced diet and staying active can help prevent serious illnesses in later life. In Hucknall, we also offer an exercise referral scheme for eligible patients. Anyone who is interested should see their GP.”