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Britain Now Officially The FATTEST European Nation!

BRITAIN is truly the 'fat man' of Europe, a damning new health report reveals. The nation has more obese people than anywhere on the continent. And the West Midlands and North East are the fattest regions in the whole of the EU, with almost a THIRD of adults classed as obese. The shattering findings emerged from the esteemed Association of Public Health Observatories annual report which health checked 27 EU countries. In the Birmingham region 29 per cent of adults are obese - double that of the EU average of 14 per cent. The UK also had one of the highest levels of teenage pregnancy. And the North East had the UK's largest number of gymslip mums, despite drastic measures introduced five years ago to curb the rise. Female cancer death rates were also higher than many other European countries. And medics said that the only positive was that many Brits had successfully quit smoking, unlike their European neighbours. Study chief Professor John Wilkinson said the report showed Britain now faced an obesity crisis. The previous Government poured millions of pounds into anti-obesity initiatives and into sexual health and family planning clinics. In the North East, The Sun revealed how the NHS had funded initiatives like community nurses who gave contraceptive jabs in McDonald's restaurants to try and slash the number of teenage pregnancies. The APHO study is one of the most comprehensive health polls in the world. It looked at 37 different factors in each region such as causes of death, population range, risk factors and health facilities. The UK's female cancer death rates were among Europe's worst. South-East England fared worst with 185 deaths per 100,000, followed by Scotland at 179 per 100,000 and north-east England at 174. The European average is 139.5 per 100,000. Experts called the results shameful last night. Royal College of GPs spokesman Professor Steve Field said: "I'm appalled by the figures and feel ashamed as a GP working in the West Midlands that this area has the highest percentage of obese adults in Europe. "Obesity is a major problem and predictor of ill health throughout a patient's life, causing serious illnesses. "I hope we will be able to do more in the future to get people to take responsibility for their own health and take more exercise." Report author Professor John Wilkinson explained: "For some cases the UK is not doing very well. "The obvious one is obesity where we are at the top of the league. "The fine grading of the report shows that in areas where we think we are doing better in terms of obesity, such as the South East region, we are still actually far behind areas such as Scandinavia. "The findings demonstrate there's a long way to go." A spokesman for the Department of Health said: "The Government has made it clear that tackling health inequalities is a priority as part of its commitment to fairness and social justice. "Everyone should have the same opportunity to lead a healthy life, no matter where they live or who they are. "Action to tackle health inequalities is at the centre of our approach to public health. "We will aim to use the least intrusive approach necessary to achieve the desired effect. "We will seek to use approaches that focus on enabling and guiding people's choices wherever possible." Last night West Midlands health chiefs leapt to defend their record. Birmingham locals now enjoy free public gym membership and swimming pool use. But it is uncertain that the scheme has had a huge impact of the area's obesity problem. Council spokesman Councillor Alan Rudge said: "The national headlines today show obesity is a problem across the UK and particularly in the West Midlands. "Through the Be Active scheme we're working hard with our partners in the NHS to combat that problem in Birmingham."

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