FENLAND: Report highlights the worsening state of the district's health - from obesity to smoking
PUBLISHED: 13:05 21 July 2008 | UPDATED: 08:33 02 June 2010
FOUR out of every ten adults in the Waterless area of Wisbech smoke- one of the highest percentages in the county and nearly double the average for Cambridgeshire as a whole. The ward, where 5,000 people live, also has the worst record for healthy eating
FOUR out of every ten adults in the Waterless area of Wisbech smoke- one of the highest percentages in the county and nearly double the average for Cambridgeshire as a whole.
The ward, where 5,000 people live, also has the worst record for healthy eating with only 11.9 per cent of the population eating five or more fruit or vegetables per day- less than half the national average.
The scale of the problem facing the ward- and others throughout Fenland- is contained in the newly published report by the county council and Cambridgeshire Primary Care Trust.
On obesity generally the report says that the national proportion for adult obesity is 22 per cent but in Fenland it is 29 per cent and of 123 wards throughout the Cambridgeshire the 18 wards with the highest prevalence of obesity were all in Fenland.
And it's not just those on the breadline who are refusing to engage in regular physical activity, says the report.
"Fenland has noticeably low levels of regular or zero participation in physical activity with only Cambridgeshire City and Huntingdonshire having levels appreciably above the national figure," says the report.
"Levels of participation appear to be related to socio-economic groups with people in lower socio economic groups participating less than those in more affluent groups.
"However in Fenland there is not any difference between levels of participation between the less and more affluent groups."
The wide ranging report - parts of a needs assessment entitled Prevention for the Working Age Population- lists recommendations to help improve and sustain a healthier population in Cambridgeshire.
But on nearly every issue studied in the report, Fenland is bottom of the pile including having:
n The highest number of people on benefits than anywhere else in the county
n The lowest average household income
n A noticeably higher proportion of the working population with no qualifications
n With Cambridge City the lowest levels of adults in further education schemes
n With the exception of binge drinking, Fenland has the highest rates of unhealthy lifestyles throughout the county
n Fenland has 10 of the 11 Cambridgeshire wards where mental health is in danger of becoming a serious issue
Authors of the report hope their conclusions will "send signals to existing and potential providers' services about potential service changes." Improvements in health and well being should be a priority, they say.