Kirklees residents could be putting themselves at risk of an early grave after a survey revealed that one quarter are clinically obese.

People living in 10 areas in the region were fatter than the national and regional averages, according to the report by Nuffield Health, which suggested that the county had some of the worst levels of obesity in the UK.

The snapshot research, carried out by CACI who polled 250 people in the county as part of a nationwide report, also highlighted that many people were underestimating how overweight they were despite high profile public health campaigns.

It comes one month after the Huddersfield Daily Examiner revealed that more than 1,500 people in the area were admitted to hospital in the last year due to the condition.

In the survey, it showed that an average of 25% in the Kirklees areas were obese, whilst those living in postcode areas HD4 and HD5 were amongst the most overweight, with 27% classified as clinically obese.

First fall in childhood obesity in Kirklees and Calderdale for seven years  

This is in comparison to the UK overall, where 17% of the 3,100 people who contributed were placed in the same category and 21% in Yorkshire.

However, the research showed that those in the region were more slender than in places such as Barnsley, Bradford and some parts of Leeds, Doncaster, Grimsby and Sheffield, where up to one third (33%) were obese.

Nuffield Health said that further worries were caused by people’s own false perceptions of how overweight they were, which they substantially underestimated.

It found that only one third of those in Yorkshire classified as having a body mass index of over 30, which qualifies as being obese, knew how overweight they were.

This was in addition to revealing that a high proportion of residents did not understand the links between obesity and certain diseases like cancer (79 %), liver disease (68%) and stroke (43%) and that more than half (53%) did not believe that they were at risk of illness due to their weight.

A total of 66% of all those polled in the county were classified according to the BMI method as overweight or obese.

Nuffield Health said that without intervention many local healthcare resources will be overwhelmed over the coming years.

Yorkshire GP and Medical Director for Wellbeing at Nuffield Health, Dr Davina Deniszczyc, said: “There is a very big difference between being slightly overweight and clinical obesity.

“Once BMI reaches 30 the body experiences physiological changes which can put massive pressure on the vital organs, increasing the risk of numerous conditions.

“Across Yorkshire, we are seeing a vast number of people unwittingly straying into dangerous medical territory and perhaps not realising that obesity awareness campaigns are directed at them.

“As healthcare professionals we need to prioritise the health of patients over the risk of ‘hurt feelings’ caused by a frank and open conversation about their weight.”

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