Wirral 'fattest' English region in table of doctors noting patient obesity
The "fattest" and "thinnest" regions of England have been revealed.
New figures show that across England there were 811 hospital admissions out of every 100,000 people where doctors take note of a patient's obesity.
But in the Wirral the figure is almost three times higher than this average, according to figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).
Out of every 100,000 people in the area there were 2,894 admissions where medics recorded a "primary or secondary" diagnosis of obesity.
In the London Borough of Richmond the figure stands at just 238 per 100,000.
In 2014, 58% of women and 65% of men in England were overweight or obese, the figures show.
HSCIC said obesity prevalence has increased from 15% in 1993 to 26% in 2014.
Commenting on the figures, Tam Fry, spokesman for the National Obesity Forum, said: "Seeing the Wirral in such a league table should bring home the enormity of the obesity epidemic.
"The tragedy of such figures is that in 2013 local councils everywhere were never allocated sufficient funds to tackle the problem by Westminster and, in addition, have had to cope with further cuts to their general budgets.
"The numbers will escalate until their legitimate demands for the cash to do the job are met or central government takes back responsibility of controlling the crisis."
Figures from the HSCIC pinpoint the number of people in each region who were admitted to hospital with a primary or secondary diagnosis of obesity in 2014/15.
Areas with the highest admissions per 100,000 people in the region were:
:: Wirral - 2,894
:: Cornwall - 2,108
:: Bradford - 1,907
:: Torbay - 1,897
:: Salford - 1,858
:: Luton - 1,770
:: Southampton - 1,755
:: Slough - 1,746
:: Plymouth - 1,708
:: Worcestershire - 1,636
Areas with the lowest rates per 100,000 were:
:: Richmond - 238
:: Kingston-upon-Thames - 252
:: Rutland - 274
:: Gloucestershire - 277
:: Kensington and Chelsea - 289
:: Wandsworth - 292
:: Bromley - 297
:: Hammersmith and Fulham - 317
:: City of London - 322
:: Southend - 325