IT was named one of the fattest places to live five years ago but obesity is on the decline in the borough, new figures have revealed.

The percentage of adults who are overweight with a body mass index higher than 25 is 65.3 per cent - above the national average of 64 per cent but slighly below the north west average of 66 per cent - according to Public Health England.

In 2009 Wigan was the 34th fattest borough out of the 39 boroughs in the north west, but it is now 11th.

Professor Kate Ardern, director of Public Health for Wigan Council, said: “The improvement that we have seen in the number of people with excess weight is great but there are still challenges ahead.

“We would like to drop below the national average and even further.”

Wigan Council’s weight loss programme Lose Weight Feel Great - and the male equivalent Trim Down Shape Up - is used as a case study in the report.

Prof Ardern said: “Having a comprehensive weight management programme like LWFG is so important and that is proved by the fact we were chosen as the national case study.

“We don’t treat weight loss with a one-size-fits-all attitude but tailor programmes to the individual.”

Since the launch of Lose Weight Feel Great in 2009, more than 16,700 people have taken up the community weight management group sessions, losing a combined total of 72,000kg.