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Stéphane Robichaud, CEO N.B. Health Council, said high blood pressure is the top health issue in the province. (CBC)

Obesity levels in the province are still among the worst in the country, according to the latest figures from the New Brunswick Health Council.

Nearly 30 per cent of the adult population in New Brunswick is considered obese, the independent council’s third population snapshot, released Thursday, shows. By comparison, the national average is 18 per cent.

The province is, however, doing a better job of promoting physical activity, compared to previous years, said Stéphane Robichaud, the council’s president and chief executive officer.

The top health issue in New Brunswick is high blood pressure, he said.

Meanwhile, the report suggests the provincial health system needs to keep a special eye on respiratory problems and lung disease, said Robichaud.

Although only two to four per cent of the population identifies with those issues, it's one of the top causes of hospital admissions in the province, he said.

"That speaks to a very small portion of your population that has an issue, yet again because we don't tend to be able to target that as well as we should, manage those situations as well as we should, they end up being among the top reasons for occupying beds in your hospitals."

This year’s report also found direct links between people's behaviour, chronic conditions, and hospital admissions, said Robichaud.

"When you take a step back and look at the big picture, a number of our behaviours are leading to situations like obesity, inactivity has an impact on hypertension, the onset of chronic illnesses like diabetes.

"And if we don't track and manage them well, your health deteriorates and you end up in hospital."