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Thursday, 18 December 2014

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Cumbrian town with fattest children revealed

The fattest children in Copeland live in Millom, new figures reveal.

The news comes after Copeland was named the borough in the UK with the most overweight or obese residents.

Now a plan is being drawn up following a meeting held by agencies charged with tackling the problem – with ideas including a ban on junk food advertising.

Copeland county councillor Keith Hitchen told the meeting: “It’s about lifestyle choice. It’s about offering people the alternatives. Say ‘if you want to live out of a kebab house, that’s fine – but here is the alternative’.

Public Health England has released statistics showing Copeland to be the fattest local authority in the country, with 75.9 per cent of the population categorised as overweight or obese.

The meeting heard that the Holborn Hill area of Millom was the borough’s fattest ward with 11.7 per cent of children in reception recorded as being overweight in 2009/10.

The figure rose to 30.8 per cent in year six children in 2011/12.

Children in Copeland also exceeded the national average in 2012/13, with 11.6 per cent of reception age pupils being classed as overweight, and 22.2 per cent of year six pupils. The national average is 9.3 per cent and 18.9 per cent respectively.

Mayor of Millom Brian Crawford said: “A lot of funding has been going to sporting clubs and things that are already there, as opposed to targeting people that aren’t sporty.

“It’s about getting people to take that initial step into doing something, which is a bit of a catch 22, but right now funding is going to people who’re already active.”

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