OVER two thirds of adults in Bolton are classed as overweight or obese, latest figures have revealed as Boris Johnson unveils a new campaign to tackle the problem.

According to Public Health England (PHE), 67% of adults in the borough were classed as overweight or obese in 2018-19.

This is higher than the England average, which is 62%, and the North West average of 65%.

Separate figures show that 22% of children aged four to five years old in Bolton were overweight or obese in the 2018-19 academic year.

This rose to 35% for those in Year 6, the final year of primary school.

Nationally the Government has launched a strategy to help combat obesity, as PHE reported that those who were overweight or obese were significantly more at risk of being admitted to hospital or dying from coronavirus.

The Prime Minister revealed on Monday July 27 that the latest strategy will tackle obesity by ending ‘buy one, get one free’ offers on unhealthy products, banning junk food adverts on television and online before 9pm, and making restaurants and takeaways with over 250 employees publish calorie content information on their menus.

As part of the government crackdown, GPs will also be encouraged to prescribe patients bike rides, with those in pilot areas being given access to bikes.

However, there are concerns that the strategy does not go far enough to solve the issues behind the obesity crisis.

Cllr Sue Haworth, shadow cabinet for Health, Wellbeing and anti-poverty, said: “What the obesity strategy lacks is real attention to health inequalities and those wider social determinants of health.

“You can eat healthily if your budget is really low but it does take more effort to work it all out.

“Research has shown for some years now that poverty practically aids obesity as much of the cheapest food is fat and sugar laden. Alas, I don’t find Boris Johnson shouting about this from the roof tops.

“There’s inequality in people’s choices and options to be physically active. Funded youth clubs and community groups can often help with kit and footwear when it’s a barrier to joining in.

“It’s been a bleak picture of the government decimating services in local government particularly in places like Bolton.

“It takes some chutzpah for the Prime Minister to be calling for everyone to be healthier.

“In a few days time the government ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ 50% off your meal bill scheme begins.

“So it’s quite something that the government just days before is launching the new obesity strategy.”