The fat blue line: Thousands of pairs of XXL trousers with waists over 40ins or larger have been ordered in for police officers, figures show
- The Met Police ordered 7,343 pairs which included sizes of up to 56 inches
- One spokesperson said a person’s waist does not stop them from doing their role
- Tam Frey, chairman the National Obesity Forum, said the data was ‘shocking’
- Two-thirds of officers in Hampshire Constabulary were found to be overweight
Thousands of pairs of XXL trousers with waists of over 40inches or larger have been ordered in for police officers, figures show.
The Met Police ordered 7,343 pairs which included the sizes 40in, 50in, 52in and a whopping 56in – the equivalent of 4.5ft.
Meanwhile West Midlands Police bought 1,852 bumper pairs last year while Greater Manchester Police needed 15 and Northumbria police bought 11.
Tam Frey, chairman the National Obesity Forum, said the data ‘shocking’.
The Met Police ordered 7,343 pairs which included the sizes 40in, 50in, 52in and a whopping 56in – the equivalent of 4.5ft
The Met Police stressed annual fitness tests are still compulsory for all of its officers.
A spokesman said: ‘The size of a person’s waist is not necessarily an indicator of fitness or their ability to carry out their role.’
Just two years ago two thirds of officers in Hampshire Constabulary were considered either overweight or obese.
In an internal email to staff Chief Superintendent Lucy Hutson raised concerns that ‘lifestyle condition’ can increase the risk of deadly diseases such as cancer and diabetes.
According to NHS guidelines, people’s waistlines should be just under half your height.
Annual fitness tests became compulsory for all police officers in England and Wales in 2014 following a national review
The advice says the ratio for a healthy waist should be between 0.4 to 0.49 whereas a ratio of 0.5 to 0.59 puts people at increased risk of health issues.
For the population at large, two in three adults are classified as overweight or obese.
This number has ballooned over the past 30 years, with the number of unhealthy people are soon to out number unhealthy people in five years’ time, according to Cancer Research UK.
Predictions by the charity said 40 per cent will be obese in 20 years while at least 70 per cent of people will be overweight or obese.
Being overweight or obese increases the risk of about 13 different types of cancer, the charity warned, with about 22,800 cases of cancer linked to being overweight.
At the time Cancer Research chief executive Michelle Mitchell said: ‘These projections should serve as a wake-up call to the Government about the state of our nation’s health.
‘Ministers must not keep kicking the can down the road when it comes to tackling the obesity crisis – delaying measures that will lead to healthier food options.
‘I urge them to revisit this decision and take bold action on obesity, the second biggest preventable risk factor for cancer in the UK.’
Experts also warned that if trends continue, obesity will ‘eclipse smoking as the biggest cause of cancer’.
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