As worrying statistics reveal one in four Britons are obese, a slimming consultant is urging Barnet’s overweight to fight the flab in 2013.

A report by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) claims approximately 25 per cent of adults in the UK are overweight.

Karen Butler, 48, has been a consultant at Slimming World in Ballards Lane, Finchley, for four years and has helped dozens of people to shift their excess weight.

Speaking to the Times Series she said: “These statistics are shocking – you’d expect it in America but not here. It’s taken me by surprise.

“Obesity can cause other health problems such as blood pressure and diabetes – in the last few years I’ve seen that increase dramatically.

"It’s really scary. And often the side effects of obesity are costing the country a fortune.

In many cases obesity leads to other complications such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, sleep disorders and gynaecological disorders.

RCP estimates the cost of dealing with the consequences of obesity is £5 billion per year.

But Mrs Butler, who lost three stones in just over eight months, believes simple changes to what people eat can help shift the pounds quickly and healthily.

She said: “I was sceptical at first but it works. You don’t have to ban anything from your diet – you can still have potato, rice, pasta and lean meat – it’s just cutting back a bit. It’s not complicated.”

In an annual report the director for public health in Barnet Dr Andrew Burnett says 10-11 per cent of children who start school in Barnet are obese and more than 17 per cent are obese in year six.

Although the proportion of adults who are obese in Barnet falls below the national average (17.9 per cent vs 24.2 per cent), the levels of obesity in year six children is closer to the national average (17.5 per cent vs 18.7 per cent).