People in the East Midlands are the fattest in the UK according to a new map - followed closely by the Scots and people in the West Midlands.

With an average body mass index of 28.9 based on people’s weight and height ratio, the area tops the Slimming World table.

Scotland has the next highest average BMI level of 28.4, followed by the West Midlands with 28.1, the weight-loss organisation said.

London has the lowest BMI on the map, with an average of 26.1 - ahead of the South East and North East which have 26.9.

The figures showed that average BMI across the UK is in the “overweight” category.

Healthy BMI is classed as 18.5 to 24.9, but a level measured between 25 and 29.9 means a person is regarded as overweight. Obese BMI levels range from 30 to 39.9.

The higher someone’s BMI, the greater the risk of developing life-threatening conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Slimming World plans to run a campaign to tackle expanding waistlines and attempt to turn the tide of rising obesity.

Let’s Beat It Together will be launched on February 22 to unite communities in the quest for better health.

Dr Jacquie Lavin, Slimming World’s head of nutrition and research, said: “Clearly obesity is a national problem but the causes are often closer to home and most of us recognise that our lifestyle and the environment we live in is at least, partly to blame.

“Being overweight is increasingly a worry for many of us and for our families and children.

“It affects how we feel, our happiness and our wellbeing - our whole outlook on life.”

She said poor diets and lack of exercise had caused a “social snowball” effect across the country.

“It’s a problem which is at the heart of every community which is why we’ve decided to tackle it together with our members in every community, with a solution that is already available in every local community,” she said.

“Those of us who are overweight know we ought to do something, but many people just don’t know where to turn for help.”

:: The data used in the map is based on a survey by Slimming World and YouGov.