The data above should serve as wake-up call for every corner of the city, but in some wards alarm bells should be ringing louder than in others. Indeed, in areas such as Filwood (40%), Avonmouth (35%), Southmead (33%), Whitchurch Park (31%) and Hilfields (30%) the high prevalence of obesity is alarming, with percentages ranging from 5% to 15% above the national average.
It is perhaps unsurprising that these five wards are also the least active neighbourhoods in Bristol. Lack of exercise is a main cause of weight gain and in Filwood, Avonmouth, Southmead, Whitchurch Park and Hilfields, an average of just two or three residents out of ten exercised at least once a week. This is in comparison to Cotham, for example, where six in ten residents claim to be active at least once every seven days. Interestingly, Cotham is also ward with the lowest obesity rate in the city.
However, it’s important to highlight that while Filwood, Avonmouth, Southmead, Whitchurch Park and Hilfields are also the areas where residents are more likely to be overweight, the city’s wards differ only very slightly in when looking at numbers of overweight residents, suggesting that weight gain is a city-wide rather than a ward-specific issue: