Birmingham was yesterday named and shamed as one of the unhealthiest places in Europe.

While England is the "fat man" of the continent - with higher obesity levels than any other nation - Birmingham is a British heavyweight when it comes to waist size.

The city's record on health was highlighted by the Government yesterday, as it launched a new drive to reduce deaths from obesity, smoking and alcohol.

A Department of Health study warned: "Health is generally poor when compared with England."

Fitness profiles have been drawn up for every local authority in the country to coincide with the public health campaign. But the entry for Birmingham drew attention to the serious health problems facing the city, warning: "Life expectancies for both males and females are significantly lower than average."

Life expectancy for men is 74 years and four months while for women it is 79 years and 11 months. This compares to 76 years and seven months for men and 80 years 11 months for women nationally.

Although life expectancy in Birmingham is rising, the gap between the city and the rest of the country is growing.

The survey continued: "Approximately one in ten adults surveyed reported being in poor health. Estimates suggest residents have unhealthy lifestyles; diet is poor with only a fifth of adults eating the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day and smoking rates are significantly higher than average.

"Although alcohol consumption is significantly lower than average, alcohol-related admissions are significantly higher than the national rate."

Furthermore, deaths from heart disease and stroke, cancers and smoking were all "significantly higher than average", the report said.

In addition, the teenage pregnancy rate was "significantly high", with approximately one in 19 girls under the age of 18 becoming pregnant each year.

Drug misuse was above average and even the city's roads are dangerous, with serious injuries in traffic accidents "significantly higher than average".

Birmingham fits the pattern seen in other parts of the country of poor health going hand in hand with poverty.

Almost seven out of ten wards in the city are among the most deprived, while 70 per cent of its wards are within the most deprived in the country.

Public health minister Caroline Flint said the Government had drawn up the health profiles to help local councils identify problems in their areas. She also called on supermarkets to educate families about healthy eating by running promotions for fruit and vegetables.

She said: "I think we can learn from what we did on smoking on what we are trying to do on obesity."

The report was published on the same day that Ministers revealed England had higher obesity levels than any other nation in Europe.

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