NEW figures show that more than 70 per cent of adults living in Halton are overweight or obese.

Public Health England today released statistics showing that 70.2 per cent of people in Widnes and Ruincorn are carrying excess weight.

That’s the highest in Cheshire and Merseyside.

Health chiefs say people who are overweight have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.

It can also affect self-esteem and mental health.

Mel Sirotkin, Cheshire and Merseyside centre director at Public Health England, said: “Public Health England is committed to helping tackle the levels of people who areoverweight and obese in Cheshire & Merseyside supporting our local authorities to develop a broad programme of action to reduce levels of excess weight.

“There is no silver bullet to reducing obesity. It is an issue that requires action at national, local, family and individual level.

“Local authorities are ideally placed to develop co-ordinated action across their departments, services and partner organisations to tackle overweight and obesity in the local population.

“This new data will enable local councils to monitor progress towards the national ambition of achieving a downward trend in excess weight by 2020.

“Today’s information will help local authorities to understand the extent of the problem in their area and support their on-going efforts to tackle overweight and obesity and improve the health of their local population.”

Health problems associated with being overweight or obese cost the NHS more than £5 billion a year.