A THIRD of adults in East Staffordshire are obese, shocking new figures have found.
Experts fear Uttoxeter could be facing an obesity crisis following the publication of a report by Public Health England which scrutinised all aspects of people's health.
It was flagged up as being the most serious issue threatening families in East Staffordshire, with 31 per cent of adults classed as obese, higher than the national average.
David Dickson, secretary of the South Staffordshire Local Medical Committee and former GP at East Staffordshire' s Wetmore Road surgery, said: "The figures echo what the majority of GP practices in the East Staffordshire area have known for many years.
"My practice carried out a heart study about 20 years ago and the region came out with some of the most overweight people in the country.
"Comparisons with the Burton beer barrel were made unfortunately, and I think the weight has increased in the population since then.
"It's going up and up and that's why we're seeing an epidemic in diabetes."
Worryingly, nearly one in five children across the borough also fall under the category, sparking calls for more to be done in schools to encourage healthy eating.
But Mr Dickson does not believe introducing a so-called 'sugar tax' to drive up the cost of chocolate and fizzy drinks, a suggestion made by medical experts, is the solution.
He said: "I don't think that is the British way (a sugar tax). We are more into education than compulsion. Issues have been highlighted more recently and I think the message is getting across. But the problem is children aren't active and that comes from the loss of playing fields, video games and TV."
The Public Health England report also listed heart disease and alcohol-related hospital admissions as causes for concern.