Fat funeral problem
BRITAIN'S obesity epidemic is presenting a new problem for Suffolk's funeral directors.The expanding population is forcing funeral companies to order larger coffins to cater for obese clients and, in some cases, they been forced to find crematoriums outside the area which can accommodate the larger coffins.
BRITAIN'S obesity epidemic is presenting a new problem for Suffolk's funeral directors.
The expanding population is forcing funeral companies to order larger coffins to cater for obese clients and, in some cases, they been forced to find crematoriums outside the area which can accommodate the larger coffins.
Liam Roberts, from Co-operative Funeral Services in Upper Orwell Street, Ipswich, said the company is already forced to use larger cremators about six times a year because a coffin will not fit in the 28-inch wide cremator at Ipswich Crematorium but he warned the problem was set to rise.
"It's a problem that is increasing, there's a recognition of that in the industry," Mr Roberts said.
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"The reality of having to facilitate a funeral for a large deceased is increasing in regularity."
Obesity in England is on the rise, with one in five adults classed as being obese.
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Each year obesity costs the NHS £500million but its effect on a range of industries outside the health sector is starting to be felt.
West Suffolk Crematorium, near Risby, has in the past been forced to recommend a cremation in Cambridge, where the cremator is 33-inches wide, because a coffin was too big for its 28-inch wide cremator.
The crematorium's manager Royna Brunskill said she expected the problem to become far more common.
"What we have found is more and more of the coffins are getting bigger so we can tell the population is growing," she said.
"I would imagine over the next 10 years or so this is going to be more common and the industry is already redesigning cremators that will take bigger coffins."
And while Ipswich Borough Council bereavement manager Mike Grimwood, who manages Ipswich Crematorium, said it was rare for a coffin not to fit in the cremator, he revealed some families were choosing to bury loved ones instead of having them cremated outside the area.
"People have come to us and said 'we've got this one which is too large' so they've decided to go for burial," he said.
"With burials you can just dig a bigger grave, it's not a problem."
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