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Shock child obesity figures highlighted at health summit

A meeting is taking place today to tackle the issue Photo: PA

More than one in four children starting reception class in Cumbria have excess weight and obesity, according to Cumbria's Director of Public Health.

The problem progresses in Copeland, which has the highest proportion, 41%, of overweight and obese children by the time they finish primary school.

Figures also show that two in three adults in Cumbria are overweight.

Cumbria County Council's Public Health department is hosting a 'Healthy Weight Summit' to tackle obesity in the county.

Over 100 representatives from around Cumbria have gathered to discuss how the county can become more active to reverse the worrying trends.

Colin Cox said if nothing is done to help tackle obesity people's health will suffer:

Obesity is considered to be one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century.

It is having an impact on people's lives now, across the generations, in terms of our quality of life, our risk of developing chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and its association with common mental health disorders.

Without action, the health of children and adults will continue to suffer, health inequalities associated with obesity will remain and the economic and social costs will increase to unsustainable levels.

This really is everybody's business and I hope that the Summit will allow us to work with a wider cross section of people to help tackle obesity in Cumbria together."

– Colin Cox, Cumbria County Council's Director of Public Health