Obesity levels rise across East Midlands as concerns over price of healthy eating grows

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Almost half (41 per cent) of people in the East Midlands say they do not eat healthily because it is too expensive, according to new research from UK health charity, Nuffield Health.

More than one in ten people (11 per cent) also said they do not have time to prepare healthy food.

These are the findings of new research out today from UK health charity Nuffield Health, who questioned more than 3100 UK adults.

Experts say the findings are concerning, and show poor understanding about healthy living and an acceptance of obesity as becoming ‘the norm’ in society.

The research, carried out to support National Obesity Awareness Week, highlights the urgency for effective obesity prevention strategies.

Of those polled in the East Midlands, a quarter (26 per cent) of people questioned said that they had noticed a rise in obesity in the area they live.

Forty per cent said that seeing obese adults in the area they live in was common, while more than a third (38 per cent) said that seeing obese children was also commonplace.

Dr Davina Deniszczyc, GP and Medical Director of Wellbeing at Nuffield Health, said: “If you are struggling financially, a cut price fast food offer might seem like the best value option for your family and it is disappointing to see so many people falling for this myth.

“There is clearly a huge amount of work to be done in the East Midlands to persuade people that the cheapest food can actually be the healthiest food.

“That people would rather be overweight than eat healthily also needs to be addressed, because the repercussions of children and young adults growing up within this mind-set will be a tragedy.

“That such high numbers are reporting childhood obesity as common place suggests we are already playing catch up in the East Midlands to help these children and young adults avoid a life of obesity and related ill health.”

The figures back up research released by the National Obesity Forum which shows that current strategies are failing to halt the rise in obesity, and that a 2007 prediction that more than half of people in the UK will be obese by 2050 will in fact be exceeded.

In the East Midlands, more than half of respondents were measured as overweight (54 per cent) - with a Body Mass Index of more than 25– which significantly increases the prospects of obesity related health issues.