More than half of Waltham Forest’s adult population is overweight or obese, according to a new report.

Figures released by Public Health England (PHE) this week show 54.6 per cent of adults have a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or over.

The statistics for England’s local authorities, published for the first time, reveal the national average is 64 per cent of adults, while London’s is 57 per cent.

The skinniest parts of the country are in London’s affluent areas, with Kensington and Chelsea the skinniest in England.

The figure for Waltham Forest puts it just outside the top third of London’s skinniest boroughs.

The highest rate of overweight and obese was in Copeland, Cumbria, where 75.9 per cent of the population are overweight.

PHE says the rate of increase in overweight and obese adults and children has slowed in recent years.

Director of health and wellbeing at PHE, Professor Kevin Fenton, said local authorities, who are responsible for public health, are “ideally placed” to tackle weight issues in communities.

He said: “People who are overweight or obese have an increased risk of developing type-2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.

“Excess weight can also affect self-esteem and mental health. Overall, health problems associated with being overweight or obese cost the NHS over £5bn each year.”

The council has been contacted for comment.