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We are a borough of fatties and smokers

PUBLISHED: 14:58 07 January 2008 | UPDATED: 13:52 02 July 2010

ADULTS in Barking and Dagenham smoke more and weigh more than residents in any other London borough according to a recent NHS poll. The Healthy Lifestyle Behaviours report also shows the borough s lardy residents prefer to give healthy food a wide berth.

ADULTS in Barking and Dagenham smoke more and weigh more than residents in any other London borough according to a recent NHS poll.

The Healthy Lifestyle Behaviours report also shows the borough's lardy residents prefer to give healthy food a wide berth.

Just 20 per cent of adults get the recommended five pieces of fruit and vegetables into their daily diet - while in the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea nearly half the population, 45.8 per cent, are shovelling down their greens.

Understandably nearly one third of our residents, a massive 23.9 per cent, are estimated to be clinically obese, the highest across the London region, in the statistics published on December 17.

This figure is more than double that of Tower Hamlets, who record the lowest percentage, 11.9, of overweight adults in the capital.

Smoking levels are once again revealed to be at a high across Barking and Dagenham, where 32.1 per cent of people still light up, 50 per cent more than the 24.1 per cent national average.

Only 17.6 per cent of residents in the neighbouring borough of Redbridge continue to indulge in the controversial habit but the north London borough of Harrow records the lowest percentage of 14.5.

Barking and Dagenham manages to top the bill in these three of the four categories scrutinised in the report, which was commissioned by the NHS' Information Centre and published on the Office for National Statistics' website.

Only in the percentage of over-16s who binge drink do we fare better, with a figure of just 11.4 per cent over-indulging in alcohol.

This is lower than 22 other London boroughs, and well below the national average of 18.6 per cent.

In response to the report, a PCT spokesperson told the POST: "We recognise that these are issues for our residents and we have a range of initiatives already in place and planned for the New Year to help people modify their behaviour.

"So we can make these initiatives as effective as possible, we are carrying out a survey across the borough to ensure we are basing our work on accurate and up-to-date information rather than estimates."

All data used to present these healthy lifestyle estimates for local authorities came from Health Survey for England information collated over 2003-2005.

The report and statistics can be found at www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk

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