MORE than two-thirds of people in Braintree district are fat according to new figures.

Data released by Public Health England said 68.2 per cent of people had a BMI which placed them as overweight or obese.

BMI is calculated using height and weight measurements.

However the district is mid-table within Essex, while the worst authority-area in England was Copeland, Cumbria, where three-quarters of the population was deemed overweight.

The slimmest council area nationally was Kensington and Chelsea at 45.9 per cent.

See the data for yourself here.

Essex County Council was handed responsibility for public health, including obesity, in April last year.

It currently spends £1.2million annually tackling weight issues and hopes to increase this by £600,000 every year from April following a review of services.

Mike Gogarty, director for commissioning for public health and wellbeing, said: “These results highlight the very serious issue of obesity which is associated with increased risks of diseases including heart attacks and diabetes. The proportion of people across all areas of Essex who are overweight is worrying.

“We are committed to driving obesity down in Essex and with our current review and planned changes in the ways we deliver obesity services we believe this can be achieved.

“We would encourage everyone to try and be as healthy and active as they can be but also be aware of the dangers associated with obesity.”

Overall health problems associated with being overweight or obese cost the NHS more than £5billion each year.

How Essex weighs in (fattest to slimmest)

  1. Castle Point - 72.8%
  2. Basildon - 71.7%
  3. Rochford - 71.3%
  4. Thurrock - 70.8%
  5. Maldon - 70%
  6. Tendring - 69.8%
  7. Braintree - 68.2%
  8. Brentwood - 67%
  9. Harlow - 66%
  10.  Colchester - 64.5%
  11.  Southend - 64.4%
  12.  Uttlesford - 63.4%
  13.  Epping Forest - 63.1%
  14.   Chelmsford - 62.4%