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With obesity levels rising across the world, many people are trying to manage and lose weight. And with the drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy, which are available from an online NHS pharmacy, making the headlines recently, it just highlights the lengths people will go to improve that number on the scale.

That’s why we wanted to find out which areas of the UK have the biggest obesity problem. Not only have we revealed the percentage of adults with obesity in areas of England, Scotland, and Wales, but we’ve also got some expert tips to help you lose weight.

Thurrock is England’s obesity capital with over three-quarters of its population classified as overweight or obese

Thurrock is Englands obesity capital

To find out the obesity capitals of England, we looked at the areas with the highest prevalence of overweight people, and obesity.

1. Thurrock – 76.3% of adults classified as overweight or obese

In first place is Thurrock with over 76% of adults here classified as overweight or obese. If you are one of the 76% in Thurrock, then making the most of its wild riverside walks could be a great way of getting active. The landscape of Thurrock is dominated by open green spaces, which makes it the perfect place to get outside.

2. Stockton-on-Tees – 75.8% of adults classified as overweight or obese

Stockton-on-Tees takes second place with 75.8% of adults here classified as overweight or obese. Stockton is home to the Stockton International Riverside Festival, which is one of Europe’s largest free open-air festivals. Historically, Stockton is also known for being the first area to operate a railway system.

3. Tamworth – 74.9% of adults classified as overweight or obese

Completing our top three is Tamworth with just under 75% of adults here classified as overweight or obese. In 2013, Tamworth was labelled as the fat capital of Britain with 30.7% of its population classified as obese. While the Staffordshire area has been dethroned, they still make the top three which suggests little has changed in almost 10 years.

Infographic showing the top 10 areas with the highest percentage of adults classified as overweight or obese, with Thurrock leading at 76.7%, highlighting regions with significant weight worries.

London areas dominate the top ten English locations with the lowest obesity rates

Infographic showing the top three London areas with the lowest adult obesity rates, with Islington being the lowest at 44.0%, supporting healthy weight management.

We’ve looked at the areas in England with the lowest prevalence of obese or overweight people.

1. Islington – 44.0% of adults classified as overweight or obese

Islington is home to the fewest overweight people in England, with just 44% of its adults classified as overweight or obese. In the 18th century, Islington was known for its dairy herds, which made them London’s main supplier of butter, cream, and milk. Despite being historically known for supplying the capital with some rather calorific dairy products, they have the lowest percentage of adults classified as overweight or obese.

2. Westminster – 45.3% of adults classified as overweight or obese

Islington is followed by another London area, with Westminster taking second place. 45.3% of Westminster’s adults are classified as overweight or obese. Westminster is rich with royal and political history. Its landmarks include the Palace of Westminster, which has been home to the Government for centuries, as well as Westminster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace.

3. Richmond upon Thames – 45.5% of adults classified as overweight or obese

Completing our top three is Richmond upon Thames, with 45.5% of its adults classified as overweight or obese. Richmond upon Thames is regularly voted as the happiest London borough to live in and is even home to a few famous faces, including runner Mo Farah, and actor Tom Hardy.

Chart displaying the percentage of adults classified as overweight or obese in various areas, addressing weight management concerns, with figures ranging from 44.3% to 49.7%.

Almost 80% of adults in Blaenau Gwent are overweight or obese, the highest in Wales

An infographic showing that approximately 80% of adults in Blaenau Gwent are overweight or obese, the highest rate in Wales, indicating a significant need for healthy eating, followed by high rates

We’ve looked at the overweight and obesity prevalence in Welsh people aged 16 and above to find out which area has the highest percentage.

1. Blaenau Gwent – 79.9% of adults classified as overweight or obese

In top spot is Blaenau Gwent with almost 80% of its adults classified as overweight or obese. Blaenau Gwent claims to be the home of the NHS, as it’s the birthplace of Aneurin Bevan, who established the NHS. There are three sport and leisure centres located here, which are shared by almost 70,000 people.

2. Merthyr Tydfil – 77.0% of adults classified as overweight or obese

Second place goes to Merthyr Tydfil where 77% of adults are classified as overweight or obese. Despite its high percentage of overweight adults, Merthyr is known for its adventure tourism. It is home to the world’s fastest seated zip line and the UK’s largest mountain bike park. There are also plans to house the UK’s longest indoor ski slope.

3. Torfaen – 73.9% of adults classified as overweight or obese

Torfaen completes our top three with almost 74% of adults classified as overweight or obese. Some of Torfaen’s local landmarks include the second largest under-cover shopping centre in Wales, Cwmbran Centre, the former coal-mining and iron-working town of Blaenavon, which is recognised as a World Heritage Site, as well as Pontypool Park which includes a leisure centre, and a stadium for Pontypool RFC which plays in the second tier of Welsh Rugby Union.

Ranked list of areas by percentage of adults with a BMI of 25 or higher indicating overweight or obese status, with Blaenau Gwent leading at 79.9%, raising weight

Just under half of the people in Powys are overweight or obese, the lowest in Wales

Infographic showing percentage of adults with bmi 25+ indicating weight worries or obese status in Powys, Isle of Anglesey, and Vale of Glamorgan, with Powys having the lowest rates in

On average, 62% of adults in Wales are overweight or obese, so we wanted to find out which areas were bringing down this average.

1. Powys – 50.0% of adults classified as overweight or obese

With just under half of its adults classified as overweight or obese, Powys takes the top spot. Powys is home to many long-distance footpaths, which perhaps explains why it has the lowest percentage of overweight adults. It’s a great place to get outside and explore nature, with plenty of lakes, reservoirs, and waterfalls to admire.

2. Isle of Anglesey – 53.5% of adults classified as overweight or obese

The Isle of Anglesey has 53.5% of adults classified as overweight or obese, the second lowest percentage in Wales. Anglesey is another great place to get outside, as it’s known for its beaches and ancient sites. The Isle of Anglesey is an island off the northwest coast of Wales, and its coastline is classed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

3. Vale of Glamorgan – 56.0% of adults classified as overweight or obese

Completing our top three is the Vale of Glamorgan, where 56% of adults are classified as overweight or obese. Vale of Glamorgan is consistently ranked as one of Wales’ most attractive areas, as well as one of the best Welsh places to live and work.

Chart displaying the top 10 areas with the highest percentage of adults who have a BMI of 25 or above, classified as overweight or obese, highlighting the need for effective weight management.

East Ayrshire and the Orkney Islands are the obesity capitals of Scotland, with 75% of overweight adults

East Ayrshire and the Oyster Islands have weight worries with a high percentage of obesity.

The average obesity rate in Scotland is 65%. So we wanted to find out the areas of Scotland that are bringing that average up.

1. East Ayrshire – 75% of adults classified as overweight or obese

Top spot is shared between two areas of Scotland, East Ayrshire and the Orkney Islands, both of which have 75% of their adults classified as overweight or obese.

The former boasts a wide range of sporting and leisure activities, including swimming pools, ice-skating rinks, and bowling halls. The Ayrshire Athletics Arena also boasts facilities for sports such as cricket, rugby, judo, gymnastics, and football.

2. Orkney Islands – 75% of adults classified as overweight or obese

The second of the two Scottish areas taking the top spot is the Orkney Islands. The Orkney Islands are an archipelago made up of around 70 islands, 16 of which are inhabited. It’s an area of Scotland which is known for its natural beauty, with many gorgeous beaches to visit. As it’s off the north coast of Scotland, it’s great for locally sourced seafood.

3. Dumfries and Galloway – 72% of adults classified as overweight or obese

In second place is Dumfries and Galloway, where 72% of its adults are overweight or obese. Galloway is known for its grassy hills, which produce high-quality dairy products. It’s also a place where strawberries, raspberries, and tomatoes are grown and shipped throughout the UK.

Infographic displaying the percentage of adults with weight worries in various areas of Scotland.

53% of adults in Edinburgh are overweight, less than any Scottish Area

Infographic depicting health-related obesity rates among adults in Edinburgh and other Scottish regions, with 53% of Edinburgh's adult population classified as overweight or obese, highlighting weight management concerns.

We’ve revealed the areas of Scotland with the lowest percentage of overweight or obese adults.

1. City of Edinburgh – 53% of adults classified as overweight or obese

The City of Edinburgh is the skinniest area in Scotland, with 53% of adults classified as overweight or obese. Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, so what better place to eat the haggis, the national dish? Haggis is a savoury pudding, traditionally containing sheep pluck, onion, and oatmeal, along with a few spices.

2. Aberdeen City – 59% of adults classified as overweight or obese

Aberdeen City takes second place on the list, with 59% of its adults being overweight or obese. Despite having the second lowest percentage in Scotland, Aberdeen is famous for a deep-fried Mars bar, which isn’t exactly the healthiest you can eat. Aberdeen is also famous for its cattle, the Aberdeen Angus, which is particularly popular due to its marbling across the meat.

3. East Dunbartonshire – 60% of adults classified as overweight or obese

East Dunbartonshire completes our top three, with 60% of adults classified as overweight or obese. The council area of East Dunbartonshire has low levels of deprivation, as well as low levels of crime and unemployment. In 2007, it was also ranked as one of Britain’s best places to raise a family.

Infographic displaying the percentage of adults with weight worries in various areas of Scotland.

Caerphilly residents are searching for weight loss solutions more than any other area in the UK, with 355 per 10,000 people

Infographic illustrating the number of annual searches for weight management solutions per 10,000 people in various areas of the UK, with the highest number in Caerphilly.

We’ve looked at Google searches for ‘how to lose weight fast’ in the areas of the UK with the highest percentages of obesity.

1. Caerphilly – 355.21 searches per 10,000 people

Caerphilly is the UK area with the most searches for weight loss solutions with 355 per 10,000 people. In total, Caerphilly submitted over 3,000 searches over the last 12 months. The Welsh area had the sixth highest percentage in Wales of overweight or obese people, with 67.74%.

2. County Durham – 305.30 searches per 10,000 people

County Durham takes second place with 305 searches per 10,000 people for weight loss solutions. County Durham’s total of 70.8% of overweight or obese people was the 27th highest in England, joint with Sandwell and Middlesborough. People in County Durham searched for weight loss solutions 8,600 times.

3. Bridgend – 164.36 searches per 10,000 people

Completing our top three is Wales’ Bridgend, with 164 searches for weight loss solutions per 10,000 people. Just over 3,000 searches for weight loss solutions were placed over the last 12 months in Bridgend. There were 71.2% of overweight or obese people in Bridgend, and this percentage was the fourth highest in Wales.

How can you lose weight? – Here are our five expert tips

Losing weight is a difficult process. It takes some lifestyle changes which require a lot of discipline. However, it can massively improve your physical and mental health. That’s why, experts at NowPatient have put together some expert tips to help you lose weight healthily.

1. Daily walks

You might think that losing weight requires lots of cardio. However, this is not necessarily true. While exercises like running and cycling will help you burn calories, increasing your activity levels can be as simple as going on a walk. Anything between 8,000 and 12,000 steps a day can improve your health, and the number on the scales. Walking is a lot easier to implement into your day-to-day life and is less stressful on the body compared to running or cycling.

2. Calorie Deficit

Burning more calories than you consume is the only way you can lose weight. Although it sounds simple, resisting those cravings requires a lot of discipline. On average, men need around 2,500 calories a day, and women need around 2,000 calories a day. However, this total varies depending on your age, height, weight, and activity levels. You can find maintenance calculators online to find out how many calories you need a day. Aiming for underneath this figure can help you determine how many calories you can eat in a day to lose weight.

3. Protein

Implementing more protein into your diet is a great way of helping you lose weight. The reason why is that protein can make you feel fuller for longer, therefore reducing your appetite. Protein reduces ghrelin, which is the hunger hormone, and boosts peptide YY which is the hormone that makes you feel full. Protein can be found in meat and yoghurts, however, if you are vegetarian or vegan, soy and pea protein are also good sources.

4. Vegetables

Eating more vegetables is another way of helping you lose weight. Most vegetables are low in calories which means you can eat more of them, which then makes you feel fuller. Including vegetables in each meal is not just a great way of helping you to lose weight, but it’s also going to improve your overall health. If you don’t like vegetables, then seasoning them with a pinch of salt can often improve the taste. Methods like blending them to make a sauce can also help you to incorporate vegetables into your diet.

5. It’s a marathon, not a sprint!

Losing weight takes time, it’s not something that can happen overnight. While severely reducing your calories at the beginning makes the scales look better, it will be harder to keep up in the long run. Minimally reducing your calories at the beginning, and gradually increasing the deficit each week will be much easier to keep up in the long run.

Methodology

We used Public Health England to find the percentage of adults, aged 18 and above, classified as  overweight or obese in districts and united authorities in England. Figures show data for 2020-21

We used STATISTICS.GOV.SCOT to find the percentage of adults classified as overweight or obese in local areas of Scotland. Figures show data for 2016-2019.

We then StatsWales used to find the percentage of adults, aged 16 and above, who have a BMI of 25 and above for local authorities in Wales. Figures show data for 2020-21.

We then used Google Keyword Planner to find the number of searches for ‘how to lose weight fast’. We looked at the top 10 most obese areas for Scotland, and Wales, and the top 30 for England. Figures show data from the last 12 months (April 2022 – March 2023). Some areas were not available on Keyword Planner, and they were left out of this section.

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