Page last updated at 08:28 GMT, Friday, 6 November 2009

Institute to fight obesity opens

Man measuring his waist
The institute is free to people registered with a GP

A centre to tackle obesity has opened in Rotherham where a third of the children and 60% of adults are overweight.

The Rotherham Institute for Obesity is part of a programme by NHS Rotherham which will see £3.5m invested over the next three years to tackle the problem.

Based at Clifton Medical Centre, it offers a gym, cooking classes and specialist support services.

The centre has specialist staff such as obesity nurses and dieticians.

The centre was officially opened at 1300 BST by Professor David Haslam, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, to tie in with National Obesity Week which runs until Sunday.

Trends reversed

Dr Matthew Capehorn, clinical manager at the centre, said: "Obesity is a growing problem amongst all ages of the population with nearly one third of children and over half of the adult population overweight or obese.

"In Rotherham we are leading the way in tackling this issue.

"However, we recognise that there is no quick fix and that it may take some years before the trends can be reversed."

Dr Capehorn added: "Let's remember that spending £3.5m now on obesity actually saves many more millions in reduced amounts of heart disease, diabetes, fertility problems, osteoporosis, arthritis."

The aim is to identify problems and put together an appropriate plan for each individual to maximise their chances of weight loss.

The centre is free to people registered with a Rotherham GP.

Other projects being run by NHS Rotherham to tackle the town's obesity problem include summer camps for overweight children.

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It is hoped the centre will help combat childhood obesity



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