Burnley: ‘lowest rates of obesity’ in East Lancs

Nearly two-thirds of people in Burnley are obese or overweight, according to a study into the country’s fattest towns.

Figures show 63.6% of adults in the borough were classed as overweight, in the date published by Public Health 

But Burnley came out as the “thinnest” borough in East Lancashire and fell below the national average in the obesity league table.

Beth Baron, Burnley Council’s healthy lifestyles development officer, said he figures were heartening but said more work needed to be done in the town to fight the fat.

“I think when the figures came out people thought it would be worse. But Burnley has the lowest rates of obesity in East Lancashire and it is also below the national average.


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“It is because of the interventions provided in town are working?”

“Two thirds of people overweight is a high figure but it is part of a general trend across the country which is rising.”

Burnley Council’s Sports and Culture department were spearheading measures to slash the number of people overweight in the town.

Weight management programmes to get people losing weight and getting fit were being offered by the Healthy Lifestyles team.


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Exercise classes for over 50s and people recovering from heart problems and strokes are offered as well as stop smoking groups. Free swimming is still available for pensioners and a pilot scheme to boost men’s health has seen Burnley Football Club coaches involved.

Beth said: “We want to address the problem from a young age right up to older people in their 70s and 80s.

“We do self-referral weight management programmes with healthy lifestyle advice, looking at changing behaviours, physical activity and all the elements for losing weight.

“Even if people don’t lose a lot of weight just being fitter can reduce their risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke.


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“We support the national Change4Life campaign for people to make a small change to their diet or activity which can make a big difference.”

Burnley fared the best among East Lancashire boroughs in the obesity league table which counts the number of adults with a body mass index of 25 or over.

Rossendale was the “fattest” with 69.1% overweight compared to the national average of 63.8%. Pendle had 67.7% and the Ribble Valley weighed in with 64.4%.

The country’s “fattest” area was Copeland in West Cumbria, where 75.9% of people were overweight and the London’s Chelsea and Kensington with “thinnest” with just 45.9%.


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To find out about the healthy lifestyles programme contact Burnley Council on 425011.