A town in Wales dubbed the “UK’s fattest” has astonishing levels of obesity with takeaways claiming to deliver to homes “three times a day”.
Ebbw Vale in Blaenau Gwent, Southeast Wales, is thought to be the fattest place in the country, with a disproportionately high number of takeaway restaurants located there. A recent report fromTalkTVfound some of those takeaways have customers who return every day without fail.
Ebbw Vale is the biggest town in Blaenau Gwent, but when you search for restaurants on Google Maps it quickly becomes clear what kind of food is available to its population. Large numbers of kebab shops, chicken shops and fish and chip joints are on offer to punters there.
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As per the South Wales Argus, around 73% of restaurants in Blaenau Gwent are fast food outlets, with 55 out of the 75 establishments as of December 2018. Speaking to Talk TV, one kebab shop worker said: “We do see [the] same address every day and sometimes the same address twice a day… I have seen three times a day.”
“It’s getting busier compared to before, yeah. We’ve got regular customers some who order every single day. Every single day they eat fast kebab,” another member of the team at the kebab shops told the outlet.
Figures from NHS prescription service Now Patient suggest that the number of people in Blaenau Gwent who are overweight or obese is 80%. The average in Wales is 62%.
Speaking to the Daily Star, a spokesperson for Public Health Wales broke down the leading causes of southern Wales’ stark rise in obesity. They said: “Rates of obesity have been rising in Wales, the UK and many other countries globally.
“These changes have resulted from an increased reliance on the car as a form of transport, less active employment and a change to eating food prepared outside the home which tends to be high in fat and sugar. The Healthy Weight Healthy Wales Strategy recognises that increasing the population who are a healthy weight will require a whole-of-society approach that includes introducing regulations such as those proposed by the Welsh Government Healthy Food Environment Consultation.”
Industries through which many in the town used to find employment have now gone. The Ebbw Vale steelworks closed in 2002 while the Marine Colliery closed in 1989, damaging the economy of the local area.
“Research shows areas with a large population experiencing social and economic disadvantage have higher rates of obesity,” PHW continued. “It is much harder for people to make healthy choices on a low income and when a person is also dealing with the pressures of managing day-to-day life.
“Weight stigma is one of the main barriers that we face in encouraging people to ask for help. People living with obesity and excess weight face discrimination frequently and care should be taken not to add to the stigma these communities already experience.”
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