More than two-thirds of adults in Bradford are now classed as overweight or obese, latest figures have revealed.

The new excess weight data, published yesterday by Public Health England, showed that 67.7 per cent of people across the district over the age of 16 had a body mass index of 25 or more, the second highest figure in West Yorkshire, and sixth highest across Yorkshire and the Humber, which had a regional average of 65.4 per cent.

The findings, taken from Sport England’s Active People Survey, saw the Bradford district come out 3.9 per cent above the national average of 63.8 per cent.

Julia Burrows, consultant in Public Health for Bradford Council, said: “These new figures confirm that there is a real problem with the number of adults classed as overweight, not only in Bradford, but across the whole of the country.

“With two in every three adults overweight or obese, we need individuals to make the decision to improve their or their family’s own lifestyle.

“We understand it’s not easy to change your eating habits but little changes can make a big difference. Being more active, cutting out the fats and sugars and eating more fruit and vegetables can all improve your health.”

As reported in the Telegraph & Argus on Saturday, Bradford has been branded one of the worst places in the country for couch potatoes, with a Ukactive study revealing that 38 per cent of residents across the district are physically inactive, the fourth worst rate in the country.

Councillor Andrew Thornton, Bradford Council’s executive member for environment and sport, said that public health and inactivity was something the Council was “constantly aware” of, adding that it was working to ensure that people kept active to “address disparities with other parts of the UK”.

Yesterday’s figures add to findings from Bradford’s Public Health England profile, published in September 2013, which showed that 26 per cent of adults across the district were classed as obese, indicating a body mass index of 30 or more.

Results from the National Child Measurement Progr-amme, released in December last year, also found that over a third of the district’s 11-year-olds (35 per cent) were found to be overweight or obese, the highest figure in West Yorkshire.

Dr Stephen Morton, of Public Health England, said: “There is no silver bullet to reducing obesity. It is an issue that requires action at national, local, family and individual level. “This new data will enable local councils to monitor progress towards the national ambition of achieving a downward trend in excess weight by 2020.”

Health problems associated with being overweight or obese are said to cost the NHS more than £5 billion each year. Adults carrying excess weight have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers, and can suffer from self-esteem and mental health issues.

For help in achieving a healthier weight, call (01274) 435387 to find out if you are eligible for support.