Dorset woman calls for action after figures reveal full extent of county's health crisis

Rose Woodward

Rose Woodward

First published in News
Last updated
Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A DORCHESTER woman is calling for action as new figures revealed the full extent of the county’s health crisis.

Almost two thirds of adults in some areas of Dorset are overweight or obese, according to statistics released by Public Health England.

And Rose Woodward is urging councils to put together a plan for action and is set to meet West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin about the issue.

She says more funding is needed in schools, more support provided for those who want to lose weight as well as a desperate need to change the attitudes of parents who make weight an issue for their children.

Statistics show wide variations in weight for people depending on where they live.

The range in Dorset is between 57.6 per cent in some local authority areas to 65.1 per cent.

But even in the areas with the lowest prevalence of adults who are overweight or obese, experts said it is clear that levels are still too high everywhere.

Rose said: “Being overweight and obese can store up problems in later life such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.”

The owner of the Dorset Diet Team store now works in the county town to help people lose weight via the Cambridge Weight Plan. She decided to lose weight when she was attacked while on patrol as a police officer.

The weight loss expert, who used to weigh 26 and a half stone, moved to Dorchester from Wolverhampton for a fresh start.

She said: “We need more funding for schools and we also need to target parents who make weight an issue for young children.”

“What people need to realise is that people aren’t just big for the sake of it. Food is an addiction.

She added: “Other council initiatives could include offering skin removal for those who have lost weight.”

She revealed that a woman with type 2 diabetes and another with ovary problems managed to overcome these conditions since los ing weight. Health problems associated with being overweight or obese cost the NHS more than £5billion each year.

Rose added: “We offer people a free diabetes test and we have equipment to provide a full body scan.”

More than 200 people a week visit Rose at her shop in Durngate Street. To get in contact call her on 01308 480168.

Dr Jim O'Brien, Wessex Public Health England centre director, said: “Public Health England is committed to helping tackle the levels of people who are overweight and obese in Wessex by supporting our local authorities to develop a broad programme of action to reduce levels of excess weight.

“There is no silver bullet to reducing obesity. It is an issue that requires action at national, local, family and individual level.”

EXCESS weight is a term used for overweight including obesity; it is defined in adults as a body mass index (BMI).

It is calculated by dividing a person's weight in kilograms by the square of their height in metres.

The data is based on adjusted, self-reported height and weight and collected via the Active People Survey (Sport England) since January 2012.

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