Number of obesity-related hospital admissions has increased by 15 per cent in just one year, NHS figures show

Sarah Young@sarah_j_young
Wednesday 08 May 2019 17:21
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Weight loss expert criticised over suggestion fat parents are to blame for childhood obesity

The number of obesity-related hospital admissions in England is on the rise, according to new figures released by the NHS.

A new report, published by the NHS, has revealed that there has been a 15 per cent increase in the number of hospital admissions where obesity is the main or secondary reason.

In 2017/18, approximately 711,000 hospital admissions in England had obesity recorded as the first or second reason for admission, up from 617,000 the year before.

Of the total number of admissions recorded in 2017/18, 10,660 had a primary diagnosis of obesity and 74 per cent of these were women.

The peak age for being admitted for obesity was 45 to 54, before declining among older age groups.

Where obesity was a secondary reason for admission, the most common diagnoses related to joint problems such as arthritis, or health issues in pregnancy where the woman was obese.

Gallstones and heart disease that occurred as a result of obesity were also on the list of secondary factors.

The Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet report showed that the national admission rate where obesity was a factor was 1,323 per 100,000 population.

Nottingham and The Wirral were found to have much higher rates than the national average, with more than 3,000 per 100,000 population.

In contrast, Wokingham, Reading, West Berkshire and Richmond-upon-Thames all recorded admission rates below 500.

The data also revealed that there were 6,627 hospital admissions in 2017/18 for bariatric surgery, also called weight loss or metabolic surgery – a two per cent rise on the previous year.

Figures from the report showed that 29 per cent of adults are obese and more than a fifth of men and women are physically inactive.

Similarly, only 20 per cent of boys and 14 per cent of girls meet the Government's guidelines for an hour's exercise a day.

In response to the report, public health minister Seema Kennedy said: “This data shines a light on the devastating consequences of obesity - both for individuals and for the NHS.

”Prevention is always better than a cure and we are already taking action to protect the health of our next generation, with plans to reduce children's exposure to sugary and fatty foods and get them moving more in school each day.

“I am committed to reversing these worrying trends and we will be exploring other solutions through our prevention Green Paper later this year.”

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The findings follow the news that Leeds has become the first city in the UK to report a reduction in childhood obesity after introducing mass parenting lessons on how to be stricter.

In light of the initiative, a new study by Oxford University revealed that while obesity rates among five-year-olds in England remained unchanged between 2013-4 and 2016-7, at around 9.4 per cent, rates in Leeds dropped to 8.8 per cent over the same period.

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