‘Poverty and deprivation’ big reason for 70 per cent of Doncaster adults being overweight or obese says Mayor Ros Jones

New figures Doncaster has more than 70 per cent of adults who are obese or overweight – some of the highest in Yorkshire.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Friday, 8th July 2022, 1:04 pm

Around 71 per cent of borough adults fall into the category of being overweight or obese – only Wakefield has more heavy people with 71.6 per cent.

Responding to the news, Mayor Ros Jones admitted that Doncaster has had stubbornly high rates for a number of years but deprivation and poverty played a big role.

The mayor also pointed to what the council were trying to do in order to combat the problem.

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More than 70 per cent of Doncaster adults are overweight or obese - the second highest in Yorkshire & Humber

Mayor Ros said the council had recently adopted a more ‘compassionate approach’ focusing on making people healthier instead of focusing specifically on weight loss.

Investments in leisure centres and strategies to get more people moving in Doncaster were also mentioned.

Comparing figures in South Yorkshire, Barnsley has a rate of 70.6 per cent, Rotherham has a figure of 68.3 per cent and Sheffield, a rate of 63.9 per cent.

Mayor Jones said: “We know our adult obesity is very high but if you really look at it, it’s very much associated with poverty and deprivation.

“Almost 40 per cent of Doncaster people live in the 20 per cent most deprived communities nationally, and this does have an effect.

“We know that as this wasn’t shifting in 2021, we needed to change our way and so we tried to adopt not only a compassionate approach, but one that’s about health rather than weight loss.

“So seeking to encourage people to live a healthy life, you’ve got to get down to the moving around the use of green spaces.

“We’ve invested a fair amount of money in our leisure centres where most places haven’t done in order to get people back and get them into a healthy lifestyle

“So it is quite complex, but we’re working collectively together.”

Nuno Albuquerque, consultant treatment lead at food addiction specialists UKAT, who provided the figures, added:

“Unfortunately, the region looks to be in an obesity health crisis, with rates of obesity rising steadily over the last few years.

“But what we know first-hand is that for some, over-eating is not a choice. Certain types of foods, like highly sugary foods, react with the brain’s dopamine receptors to create feelings of pleasure.”