Almost two-thirds of people in Enfield are overweight or obese, according to new figures.

Statistics in Healthwatch Enfield’s first annual report show a hefty 64 per cent of adults are overweight or obese.

This worrying figure is compounded by the news that 24.2 per cent of children are also obese.

Obesity is linked closely to diabetes and the numbers reveal that 18,769 people over the age of 16 are living with diabetes in Enfield.

Healthwatch Enfield chief executive Lorna Reith said: “Obesity levels for both adults and children are higher than the average for both London and nationally. This is a serious concern as obesity can lead to a range of serious health problems.

“The council and clinical commissioning group have recognised this and a number of initiatives are in place.

“We believe more needs to be done by central Government as some measures, for example, limiting the number of fast food outlets situated near schools, are difficult to achieve with current planning legislation."

However, Enfield Borough Council is trying to combat childhood obesity and has recently set up a new scheme to encourage children to take part in ten minute bursts of exercise.

Kaye Wildman, owner of Nursery on the Green, in Chase Side, believes teaching parents is the most fundamental factor in improving the latest figures.

She said: “I’m not surprised by these figures. We educate our children at the nursery about their food so they can learn quickly which foods are good and bad.

“But that doesn’t stop parents going home and giving them burger and chips every night so it’s not just about educating the children, but more about educating parents not to take the easy route out and give their children McDonald’s.

“There is lot to do in Enfield but people are not taking advantage of this.”

Cabinet member for health Councillor Donald McGowan believes there is a direct link between poverty and obesity.

He said: “While obesity levels are high we know that there is a strong relationship between poverty and obesity. The councils efforts in tackling deprivation is therefore a key driver in addressing this problem.

“To encourage residents to become fitter we also have programs such as the Healthy School Schemes and in the near future Cycle Enfield should have greater numbers of us to cycling as a matter of routine.”