Helen Carter on the fattest place in the UK

Welcome to Big Sausage Town. Boston, in south Lincolnshire, which was once England's leading port, now has the dubious honour of being the fattest place in the UK. Almost one-third of adults (31%) in the town are considered clinically obese. Inevitably, the obesity has been linked to social deprivation. A couple of years ago, the most obese place was Hull. I remember watching a corpulent man waddling out of a chip shop with his lunch as several camera crews and journalists (me included) descended on him in a vulture-like fashion. He was too busy wolfing his chips to talk.

Boston butcher Chuck Hanson says that he has not noticed a particular problem with obese customers and that the town is like any other. His shop is on West Street, a half-mile stretch which he admits has an overabundance of takeaway food joints. "We have everything from Chinese, Indian, Greek and Italian food to fish and chip shops, Thai and kebab shops," he says. Hanson boasts that he has never had a problem with his weight, which fluctuates between nine and a half and 10 stone. "I eat what I like, drink beer, but I don't smoke," he says. Not surprisingly, one of the shop's biggest sellers is Lincolnshire sausage. "Boston is a big sausage area," he adds. "Everyone has a different recipe for it. But this is not why people are overweight - it is all the takeaways."

Boston also has four health-food shops, two leisure centres, and a plentiful supply of cheap fruit and veg at its twice-weekly market, every Wednesday and Saturday. There locals are able to buy 5lb of potatoes for just £1.

Patrick Moore, the proprietor of Captain Cod and the Beijing Buffet, says there should be a limit on the number of fast-food shops on West Street. "I am looking out at the market now and I cannot see a single fat person. There is literally not one fat person around - even the stall-holders," he says.

"There were photos published yesterday of two people in Boston. Yes, they are obese, but they have thyroid problems. It is a medical condition, not because they eat too much." He worked in Luton for 30 years and can "honestly say" that there are no more fat people in Boston than there were in Bedfordshire.

Still, there is no doubt that the locals like their food. A poem by pensioner Gladys Waite (proud to be a yellow-belly, as locals are known) celebrates the county's many attributes - including its culinary delights - on the Lincolnshire Wolds website:

"Potatoes grow in that rich dark soil,
In great demand, for chips, or to boil,
We've fat juicy sausage and tasty stuff chine,
Our local foods are really sublime"

Thanks to guardian.co.uk who have provided this article. View the original here.