Mid Ulster has lowest rate of obesity deaths

For the fifth year running, the Mid-Ulster area has reported the lowest rate of death from obesity in Northern Ireland.

Obesity deaths are lowest in Mid Ulster
Obesity deaths are lowest in Mid Ulster
Obesity deaths are lowest in Mid Ulster

According to the latest figures released by the Northern Ireland Assembly, there have been four fatalities linked to obesity in the Dungannon District since 2008, while Cookstown District had just one, and Magherafelt three.

Belfast had the highest at 48, followed by Lisburn with 13.

Health Minister Edwin Poots said obesity continues to be one of the most important public health challenges facing Northern Ireland.

“Its cost can extend far beyond the public sector and affect individuals, families, communities, the economy, and society as a whole”, he said.

“Up until recently, the number of people within Northern Ireland who are overweight or obese has been rising year-on-year.

“Recent figures have shown that since the publishing of Fit Futures this rising trend seems to have levelled out and now we must

make sure that obesity is effectively dealt with on a permanent basis.”

More people are dying in the UK due to being overweight or obese than anywhere else in Europe, latest figures have revealed.

Around one in every 11 deaths in the UK is now linked to carrying excess fat - 50 per cent more than the rate in France.

Experts also warned that the number of fatalities due to obesity may soon, for the first time, exceed those caused by smoking.

Being overweight or obese leaves people at high risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and osteoarthritis. It also makes them much more likely to develop several types of cancer.

The growing health disaster is being blamed on the rise of aggressively marketed, fat laden fast food and couch potato lifestyles.

Around half of British adults are overweight, and 17 per cent of men and 21 per cent of women are obese.

The difference between being overweight and obese lies in a person’s Body Mass Index, which is calculated from weight and height. An adult with a BMI of more than 25 is classed as overweight and one with a BMI of more than 30 is obese.