ADULTS in Hampshire are the most obese in the region, according to data published by Public Health England.

A total of 65.1 per cent of people in the county are overweight or obese, and experts are warning that carrying too many extra pounds can lead to a raft of health risks, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancers.

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

In total, health problems associated with being overweight or obese cost the NHS more than £5billion each year nationwide.

Dr Jim O’Brien, Wessex Public Health England centre director, said there was some good news – the fact that the rate of increase in obesity in adults has slowed and in children has stabilised.

However, he said there is a lot of work still to be done.

He said: “Public Health England is committed to helping tackle the levels of people who are overweight and obese in Wessex by supporting our local authorities to develop a broad programme of action to reduce levels of excess weight.

“There is no silver bullet to reducing obesity.

“It is an issue that requires action at national, local, family and individual level.

“Local authorities are ideally placed to develop co-ordinated action across their departments, services and partner organisations to tac-kle overweight and obesity issues in the local population.

“This new data will enable local councils to monitor progress towards the national ambition of achieving a downward trend in excess weight by 2020.

“Today’s information will help local authorities to understand the extent of the problem in their area and support their ongoing efforts to tackle overweight and obesity issues, and improve the health of their local population.”