Login Register

4,000 people in Plymouth are morbidly obese

By This is Cornwall  |  Posted: August 06, 2009

Comments (0)

HEALTH bosses estimate there are about 4,000 morbidly obese people in Plymouth.

The figure applies to people with a body mass index above 40 who are at high risk of suffering weight-related problems such as diabetes and heart disease.

Local NHS chiefs have launched a wide-ranging review of the city's strategy aimed at tackling rising obesity rates.

Only about 12 per cent of morbidly obese Plymothians are accessing the current weight management service, according to an NHS Plymouth report.

It states some city services are "fragmented and inequitable" and have excessive waiting times.

The review will look at how to significantly expand access, increase choice and focus more on early intervention.

The first stage has examined the 'Tier 3' weight management service for morbidly obese patients, based at Devonport's Cumberland Centre and the Mount Gould local care centre.

Deb Lapthorne, director of public health for Plymouth, said: "It is estimated about 4,000 people in Plymouth are likely to have a BMI over 40, if our population fits national averages.

"We have about 600 patients a year referred to the Tier 3 service from a GP. They are those motivated enough to make life changes.

"Four hundred of those choose to carry on with treatment.

"It's an excellent service, it's compliant with NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) guidelines and the people using it are generally very pleased.

"That's great, but we are interested in what we can do for the 200 people who don't continue."

Set up in 2006, the 16-week Tier 3 programme concentrates on diet, exercise and psychology. Free for patients, it also helps people consider and prepare for the drastic surgical procedures of stomach stapling and gastric banding.

Emphasising the importance of a review, Ms Lapthorne said motivation is a key factor in people losing weight.

She said: "We want to make sure that whenever someone wakes up and thinks 'today's the day I'm going to lose some weight', there are a range of services in the city for them, some NHS and some others."

She said health bosses want to look at helping people at earlier stages, before they become obese through a range of services for children and adults.

Current help includes the weight management service, support from healthcare professional such as health visitors, school nurses, practice nurses, GPs, and from private slimming organisations.

There is also a children's specialist clinic and after-school MEND programme for children and their families.

Measures being considered including developing support services offered by GPs, providing health trainers to work in the community, and redeveloping the MEND after-school weight programmes for children.

The report states the whole service will need clear coordination, with input from education, the city council and health bodies.

Papers also mention that Derriford Hospital becoming a specialist centre for bariatric surgery – stomach stapling and gastric banding – has "significant implications" for the weight management service.

They state it is likely the service will be expected to provide patients with specialist pre- and post-surgery support.

According to government figures one in four Plymouth adults are obese, have a body mass index (BMI) of more than 30.

Anyone worried about either weight is affecting their health should contact their GP for advice.

For more information about the above services contact Sarah Hind on 01752 434623.

Tan Fry of the National Obesity Forum on the "fat map" of the UK which shows high levels of obesity in Plymouth.

Read more from West Briton

Do you have something to say? Leave your comment here...

max 4000 characters
  • Profile image for This is Cornwall
    Frustrated!, Plymouth  |  August 13 2009, 7:59PM

    For most of my adult life, I fell into this category but have lost over 6 stone this year by myself. The 'Tier 3' programme was never suggested to me and the NHS have now refused to help with my excess skin deeming it as cosmetic rather then reconstructive. I was not even offered an appointment to discuss other solutions to this problem. I feel really pleased that my health has improved but the excess skin has killed my self esteem. What do I do now other than self-fund a tummy tuck?!

  • Profile image for This is Cornwall
    K, PLYMOUTH  |  August 08 2009, 7:59AM

    People should not mock others that are over weight. when I was in my teens and twenties I was so thin they used to call be the Belson Boy,Looking at me now you would not believe it. I cannot understand how I am so big now ( I'm not to overweight ) To me I am. As you get older the pounds seem to pile on,I am avery active person not a couch potatoe in front of the tele. I am an out door person I keep animals which keep me active. I am a Diabetic. I would not wish this on my worst enemy. As they say life get harder as you get older. This could happen to you so please do not mock people just look in the mirror at yourself and picture self carrying extra weight.

  • Profile image for This is Cornwall
    Derriford Girl, Derriford, Plymouth  |  August 07 2009, 9:54PM

    Kermit the Frog - Warrens Bakery at Derriford Hospital are being kicked out in the New Year and being replaced by a health deli/salad bar.

  • Profile image for This is Cornwall
    Nigel, Redruth, Cornwall  |  August 07 2009, 9:20AM

    Why is it that what is reported is always an estimation, surely from medical records they can get an extract number?

  • Profile image for This is Cornwall
    j williams, plymouth  |  August 07 2009, 8:48AM

    google.......kfc cruelty video

  • Profile image for This is Cornwall
    j williams, plymouth  |  August 07 2009, 8:46AM

    TAX THE FAT ,not the healthy

  • Profile image for This is Cornwall
    Kermit The Frog, PAFC  |  August 07 2009, 8:08AM

    Ed, Plymouth - you're right - just look at all that salad dodgers at Derriford getting patched up in between going out for a fag and moaning

  • Profile image for This is Cornwall
    Reg, Efford  |  August 07 2009, 5:23AM

    Mick, Barbican - but being slim and fit he recovered quickly and continues to live a full life, unlike if he was an overweight slob and would have no doubt passed away.

  • Profile image for This is Cornwall
    Non fatty, non fat land  |  August 06 2009, 11:43PM

    Kick the fatties out, they hoarde supermarket aisles taking up too much room.

  • Profile image for This is Cornwall
    Dugie, plymouth  |  August 06 2009, 10:14PM

    when i was 8 years old they told me i was too fat and gave me a diet sheet, they have been doing the same on and off for 45 years. it hasnt worked, i have learned to live with it, looks like there are a few on here who could do the same. when it comes down to it smokers, alcoholics, anorexics, drug addicts tombstoners, and sports people could also be classed as self inflicted when needing treatment couldn't they?