Three in five Wiltshire adults overweight or obese

Three in five Wiltshire adults overweight or obese

Published by Henrietta Creasey at 10:19am 29th July 2020.

3 minute read

The figures come as the Government launches a strategy to slim down the nation's waistlines.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who says he struggles with his own weight, has announced a range of measures to help people shed the pounds.

It comes after a Public Health England report found being overweight or obese can dramatically increase the risk of being admitted to hospital or dying from Covid-19.

The PM's obesity strategy includes:

  • Barring shops from pushing 'buy one, get one free' promotions on unhealthy products
  • Ending junk food adverts on television and online before the 9pm watershed
  • Forcing restaurants and takeaways with more than 250 employees to add calorie labels to menus
  • Expanding NHS weight management services and its Diabetes Prevention Programme
junk food burger
Some restaurant and takeaways will have to display the amount of calories in their meals.


PHE figures show 60% of adults in Wiltshire were classed as overweight or obese in 2018-19, the latest period for which data is available whilst in Hampshire the figure is 62%

The England average is 62%.


Doctors, charities and campaign groups have welcomed the plans, but some say they don’t go far enough.

Professor Dame Parveen Kumar, board of science chairwoman at the British Medical Association, said obesity can have a 'devastating' impact on people’s health, including the increased risk from the coronavirus.

She added: 

"As the Government’s new strategy recognises, this has been a real wake-up call for the nation, and it’s imperative that we use this opportunity to make changes for good, not only for society today, but also for generations to come."

Katharine Jenner, campaign director at charity Action on Sugar and Action on Salt, said: 

"We are delighted that the Government has finally recognised that these huge food and drink companies have not been acting in our best interests when they advertise and discount their heavily processed, high in fat, salt and sugar, food and drinks."

But she said it was a 'missed opportunity' not to introduce mandatory targets on removing sugar and salt calories from products and that it was “absurd” the soft drinks levy – a tax on soft drinks – was not extended to other sugary edibles.

A range of measures have been announced to help people shed the pounds.


Separate PHE figures show that 21% of children aged four to five years old in Wiltshire were overweight or obese in the 2018-19 academic year.

This rose to 28% for those in Year 6 , the final year of primary school.

Meanwhile 22% of children aged four to five years old in Hampshire were overweight or obese in the 2018-19 academic year.


Mr Johnson said: 

"Losing weight is hard but with some small changes we can all feel fitter and healthier.

"If we all do our bit, we can reduce our health risks and protect ourselves against coronavirus as well as taking pressure off the NHS."

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