DATA showing Wirral is the “fattest” region in England have been disputed by the council's health chief.

The "fattest" and "thinnest" regions of England were revealed today - and the borough was found to be the “fattest” region in the country based on hospital admissions.

The data shows that a cross England there were 811 hospital admissions out of every 100,000 people where doctors take note of a patient's obesity.

But in Wirral the figure is almost three times higher than this average , according to figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

Out of every 100,000 people in the area there were 2,894 admissions where medics recorded a "primary or secondary" diagnosis of obesity.

However the statistics have been disputed by Fiona Johnstone, Wirral’s director of public health, who said: "We know that obesity is a UK-wide problem, but these statistics do not represent our community.

"The most recent 'Active People' survey showed that Wirral had an adult obesity rate of 21.8% which is lower than the England average of 24% and significantly lower than the North West average of 25%.

"In addition, Wirral is not high for other indicators of obesity, including rates of bariatric surgery or Orlistat prescribing.

"These statistics are based on hospital admissions which are not a good way of determining which area has the highest rates of excess weight, as they depend on individual coding practices at a particular hospital where a secondary diagnosis of obesity may be useful in planning care."

HSCIC said obesity prevalence has increased from 15% in 1993 to 26% in 2014.

Commenting on the figures, Tam Fry, spokesman for the National Obesity Forum, said: "Seeing the Wirral in such a league table should bring home the enormity of the obesity epidemic.

"The tragedy of such figures is that in 2013 local councils everywhere were never allocated sufficient funds to tackle the problem by Westminster and, in addition, have had to cope with further cuts to their general budgets.

"The numbers will escalate until their legitimate demands for the cash to do the job are met or central government takes back responsibility of controlling the crisis."

Figures from the HSCIC pinpoint the number of people in each region who were admitted to hospital with a primary or secondary diagnosis of obesity in 2014/15.

Areas with the highest admissions per 100,000 people in the region:

Wirral - 2,894

Cornwall - 2,108

Bradford - 1,907

Torbay - 1,897

Salford - 1,858

Luton - 1,770

Southampton - 1,755

Slough - 1,746

Plymouth - 1,708

Worcestershire - 1,636

Areas with the lowest rates per 100,000:

Richmond - 238

Kingston-upon-Thames - 252

Rutland - 274

Gloucestershire - 277

Kensington and Chelsea - 289

Wandsworth - 292

Bromley - 297

Hammersmith and Fulham - 317

City of London - 322

Southend - 325