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Obesity epidemic remains critical

By Editor
31st March 2017

High levels of obesity remain prevalent among adults and children in England, according to the latest statistics published by NHS Digital.

The annual review of obesity in England entitled, Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet in England 2017, revealed 58 per cent of women and 68 per cent of men were found to be overweight or obese in 2015.

High numbers of overweight children were also recorded with more than one in five children in primary school reception classes (aged four to five) being overweight or obese in 2015-16, increasing to more than one in three children by the time they reach Year 6 (aged ten to eleven.)

The statistics showed there were 525,000 admissions to NHS hospitals across the country in 2015/16 where obesity was a factor.

A total of 26 per cent of all adults in England were classified as inactive (undertaking fewer than 30 minutes of physical activity a week), with women more likely to be inactive (27 per cent) than men (24 per cent).

Highest results for inactivity were revealed in Leicester, South Tyneside, Barking and Dagenham and Rochdale with a third of people reportedly failing to take part in just 30 minutes exercise a week. Fittest areas were recorded as Wokingham (13 per cent) and Brighton and Hove (14 per cent).

Only 26 per cent of adults were found to eat the recommended five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day in 2015, with women (27 per cent) more likely to do so than men (24 per cent).

Worryingly, the prevalence of morbid obesity has more than tripled since 1993, affecting 2% of men and 4% of women in 2015.

The study brings together information from a variety of sources to provide a comprehensive picture of obesity related health issues in England.

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