ALMOST two thirds of people in Worcestershire are overweight or obese, new figures have shown.

Data was released this week showing 63.8 per cent of people across the whole of England have a body mass index of 25 or over, classing them as overweight or obese.

Worcestershire is slightly higher than this, with 65.5 per cent of people overweight while the West Midlands, where 65.7 per cent are at an unhealthy weight, is England’s second fattest region next to the North East at 68 per cent.

Director of health and wellbeing at Public Health England Professor Kevin Fenton said he hoped the figures would give local authorities a better picture of what they needed to do to bring down obesity levels in their areas.

"People who are overweight or obese have an increased risk of developing type two diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers,” he said.

"Excess weight can also affect self-esteem and mental health.

“Overall health problems associated with being overweight or obese cost the NHS over £5 billion each year.

"There is no silver bullet to reducing obesity – it is a complex issue that requires action at individual, family, local and national levels. We can all play our part in this by eating a healthy, balanced diet and being more active."

Cumbria ranks as the country’s fattest county with 68.3 per cent of people overweight or obese, followed by North Yorkshire and Staffordshire, both at 67.9 per cent.