A community health assessment report on Manitoba’s northern Burntwood and Churchill regions found that an alarming 72 per cent of residents were considered overweight or obese in 2008, well above the Manitoba average of 55 per cent. The result for the region’s Thompson General Hospital: an urgent order for special equipment to accommodate people who weigh more than 400 pounds. The provincial health department approved $42,900 for a bed with a scale, a special mattress, a trapeze to help lift patients and a wheelchair that can fold out into a stretcher. Obesity is a growing concern in particular among northern First Nations, where Type 2 diabetes affects 50 per cent of residents in places such as Island Lake, Man. The Thompson hospital serves a number of native communities.