Million hospital admissions linked to obesity

OBESITY was a factor in more than one million hospital admissions in England in 2019/2020, according to figures from NHS Digital.

A total of 1.02 million finished admission episodes were recorded with obesity as a primary or secondary diagnosis in the year, which is an increase of 17 per cent on 2018/2019 although some of the increase may be due to improved recording.

However, the number of admissions where obesity was recorded as the main cause fell to 10,780 from 11,117 in 2018/19.

The figures come from The Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet; England, 2021, which is an annual compendium of data on obesity, including hospital admissions, prescription items, obesity prevalence among adults and children as well as physical activity and diet.

The report found that 27 per cent of men and 29 per cent of women were classed as obese. Around two thirds of adults were overweight or obese, and this was more prevalent among men (68 per cent) than women (60 per cent). Just over a fifth of adults were classed as inactive in 2019/2020.

Children living in the most deprived areas were more than twice as likely to be obese (27.5 per cent of year six), than those living in the least deprived areas (11.9 per cent of year six).

NHS England medical director Professor Stephen Powis commented: "Today's shocking figures are a growing sign of the nation's obesity crisis which is putting hundreds of thousands of people at greater risk of becoming severely ill with Covid, as well as heart attacks, stroke, cancer and other deadly diseases."

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