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As a society we are getting bigger. Obesity rates have trebled in the last 30 years. Across Shropshire, obesity levels match the national average. This is not good news for us as individuals or for our children. Being too heavy increases our risk of developing diseases such as diabetes and cancer, and we're more likely to live shorter lives.

This film aims to highlight how Shropshire people feel about weight as an issue. It explores people's views on weight, diet and physical activity and what they need in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

People's Opinions

  • "A lot of people wouldn't really think I'm that overweight looking at me, but I'm at least two stone overweight. Whereas, you know, people that they consider overweight are morbidly obease."
  • "I think if somebody said I was obese, I would be really mortified."
  • "I always say 'they are what they eat', and they do over-eat the wrong things, you see. So I think it would be better for everyone to cut down on certain things, and then they wouldn't be at the doctors' all the time."
  • "Fast food and unhealthy food is so much cheaper than healthy food, that's why. It's so much easier to access."
  • "If I go shopping and I do my fruit and my veg, salads, fresh meats - my bill is high."
  • "I think there's a misconception that healthy food is more expensive than fast food. But I think that is a genuine misconception."
  • "We get an organic vegetable delivery, which I think is quite well priced actually. It's quite cheap isn't it?"
  • "I cook everything from scratch and to be fair I think it's the cheapest way as well and the best way to do things. That's how I do it."
  • "It depends what people are comparing that to. If they're comparing it to a Big Mac and fries for £3.99, well I think you could probably go down to Boots and get a salad for £1.50. So you're saving money and you're healthier."
  • "I think it's going to take a long time for society to turn itself around. I've travelled a lot around the world and you notice, even like in the Far East, that there's a massive intake of fast food and I can see the problem spreading. It's not going to be a UK problem, it will be a worldwide problem, there's so much junk stuff out there."
  • "I think it's because of education. I think kids should learn about nutrition in school and I think it should be compulsory."
  • "They should probably just teach a bit more about what's a good portion to eat. The one thing is portion sizes, you just have to control that."
  • "And if you're poorly educated, you're less likely to go out and buy things to cook and eat sensibly."
  • "Parents, generally, are not looking after the children perhaps as our parents did with us. We were shown how to cook, and we always had exercise and nowadays I think it's sat in front of the computer and easy meals."
  • "I dunno, I'd sort of bring back those silly little adverts that were in the 80s, where you had Superman advertising cigarettes, saying they were dangerous - and do that for food and things like that."
  • "Encouraging, and making it cheap and affordable for families to do plenty of activities, more than anything else."
  • "Gym memberships - so if you want to go and join a gym, it's expensive. We're at a gym, for a family membership it's £80 a month."
  • "The thing we're forgetting with the kids, which we were saying this morning, is how the Council had put on some free activities in the summer holidays and things for the kids to get involved in with football and everything else, so I think things like that seem to work pretty well."
  • "Gym-wise, you can't go there if you're under 16 or 18."
  • "Perhaps they could encourage people to walk more, because that's a cheap option and walking, maybe swimming, they're both the best exercises you can have I think."
  • "Don't close any of the faciltiies, keep them all open - especially the Wem swimming pool which has had a chequered career and they keep wanting to close it because it doesn't make a lot of money."
  • "Apart from closing all the fast food shops and preventing people buying ready cooked meals - the kind of stuff you get from a supermarket, high in salt, high in saturated fat etc. - I think very little, because it's down to personal responsibility isn't it? And personal choices."
  • "Are we doing the footwork? Are we asking ourselves 'what have we done?', 'have we contributed to this situation?' If we have, it's very difficult for GPs and other health officials to be helpful towards us if we're reluctant to help ourselves."
  • "Surely everyone knows that eating healthy and doing exercise is good for you? They don't need to be told that, do they?"


In reality many people struggle with their weight. What can we do collectively to make it easier for those who want to achieve and maintain a healthy weight?


Fact Zone

More than 80% of cigarette smoke is invisible and odourless.