Morbid obesity on the rise in England

  • Date: 15 May 2020

HOSPITAL admissions directly attributable to obesity rose by 4 per cent in England over 2018/19, according to statics published by NHS Digital.

A total of 11,117 admissions were directly attributable to obesity in 2018/19 compared to 10,660 admissions in 2017/18.

The year also saw a 23 per cent increase in the number of admissions where obesity was a factor, from around 711,000 in 2017/18 to over 876,000 in 2018/19.

The data showed that a majority of adults are overweight or obese (67 per cent of men and 60 per cent of women) and 20 per cent of year six children were classified as obese.

Prevalence was over twice as high in the most deprived areas than the least deprived areas.

A major factor is sedentary lifestyles, with 67 per cent of adults considered active (as per government guidelines), and 47 per cent of children and young people meeting the current physical activity guidelines.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently vowed to launch a renewed strategy to tackle obesity in the wake of COVID-19, which appears to affect overweight people more severely. The Times has reported that he told ministers: "I’ve changed my mind on this".

He is said to be privately convinced that being overweight was one reason why he ended up in intensive care after contracting the virus.

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