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Rise in obesity-related hospital admissions

By Editor
8th May 2019
Type 2 diabetes

Admissions to NHS hospitals where obesity was recorded as either a primary or secondary diagnosis has increased by 15% in a year.

There were 711,000 hospital admissions where obesity was a factor in 2017/18, up by 94,000 from 2016/17, according to NHS Digital.

The figures were revealed in the Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet, England, 2019 report, an annual collection of new and previously published figures on obesity, including hospital admissions, prescription items, prevalence among adults and children as well as physical activity and diet.

Hospital admissions

The report reveals:

  • Around two thirds of the admissions where obesity was recorded as either a primary or secondary diagnosis4 in 2017/18 were for women (66%)
  • Of the 6,627 Finished Consultant Episodes (FCEs) for bariatric surgery in 2017/18, 79% of the patients were female.

Prescriptions

The number of items prescribed by primary care for obesity treatment decreased by 8% from 401,000 items in 2017 to 371,000 items in 2018, and continues a downward trend since a peak of 1.45 million items in 2009. The Net Ingredient Cost (NIC) saw an increase for the first time in five years, rising from £6.9m in 2017 to £8.1m in 2018.

Obesity prevalence

  • Adult obesity prevalence stood at 29% in 2017, an increase from 26% in 2016
  • Prevalence of child obesity in both Reception and Year 6 was over twice as high in the most deprived areas than in the least deprived areas; 13% compared to 6% in reception year, and 27% compared to 12% in Year 6.

Physical activity and diet

  • 68% of men and 64% of women aged 19 and over met the government’s physical activity guidelines for adults in 2017/18
  • 21% of men and 23% of women were classed as inactive in 2017/18
    20% of boys and 14% of girls were meeting the government’s physical activity guidelines for children
  • Women (32%) were more likely to consume the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, than men (26%)
  • 18% of children consumed the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day in 2017.

To read the full report, click here.

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