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The geography of obesity in England has been revealed in a map compiled by the National Obesity Observatory. The chart, produced by the Department of Health funded organisation, shows darker areas where the prevalence of obesity is highest by council boundary.
Health minister Dr Dan Poulter has insisted that increasing the price of fizzy drinks is not the "silver bullet" to tackling obesity.
He told ITV News: "We already have VAT on fizzy drinks and that applies to fizzy drinks and doesn't apply to other foods, so I don't think that's the silver bullet that's going to make the difference."
Doctors have called on the price of fizzy drinks to be increased by 20% to help tackle rising obesity rates.
ITV News Political Correspondent Libby Wiener reports:
Tamworth in Staffordshire has the highest proportion of overweight people in Britain.
According to the National Obesity Observatory, just over 30% of its population are obese.
You’ve been telling us what you think about doctors calling for an increase in the price of fizzy drinks to tackle rising obesity.
Lucy Furr No I don’t think it’s a good idea. Perhaps they should make the good stuff cheaper so we can afford to be healthier. Junk is cheaper and they know that.
Dean Brunt A better option would be to educate people on healthy lifestyles and make them understand that treats are ok every once in a while but should be consumed as part of a healthy balanced diet that contains everything from your 5 a day, 3 a day etc.
Doctor Christian Jessen, who presents several health television programmes, has urged doctors to target suppliers rather than consumers amid calls to increase the price of fizzy drinks.
The director general of the British Soft Drinks Association has rejected a proposal by doctors to increase the price of fizzy drinks in order to tackle obesity.
The report by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges called for a price hike of around 20%.
The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has rejected a call by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges for a heavy tax on fizzy drinks.
Terry Jones, from the FDF, told the BBC that the report was “a collection of unbalanced ideas”.
The Department of Health (DoH) has issued a lukewarm response to a report by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges which calls for an increase in the price of fizzy drinks to help tackle obesity.
The DoH hinted that taxation alone could not solve rising obesity rates.
Latest ITV News reports
Leading doctors have drawn up a raft of new measures which they say are needed to tackle Britain's growing obesity problem.