Some of the sources referred to in this publication are National Statistics. National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Statistics. The United Kingdom Statistics Authority (UKSA) assesses all National Statistics for compliance with the Code of Practice.
Other sources referred to in this publication are not National Statistics and are included here to provide a fuller picture; some of these are Official Statistics, whilst others are neither National Statistics or Official Statistics. Those which are Official Statistics should still conform to the Code of Practice for Statistics, although this is not a statutory requirement.
Those that are neither National Statistics or Official Statistics may not conform to the Code of Practice for Statistics. Unless otherwise stated, all sources contained within this publication are considered robust.
The main data sources used for this publication are Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) - an Official Statistic and the NHS Prescription Services (a division of the NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA)) – which has elements of Official Statistic and National Statistic. The signposts below cover National Statistic, Official Statistic and other sources.
1. Sources used in this report
1.1 Hospital Episode Statistics (HES)
Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) processes over 125 million admitted patient, outpatient and accident and emergency records each year.
HES is a data warehouse containing details of all admissions, outpatient appointments and A&E attendances at NHS hospitals in England. This data is collected during a patient's time at hospital and is submitted to allow hospitals to be paid for the care they deliver. HES data is designed to enable secondary use, that is use for non-clinical purposes, of this administrative data.
It is a records-based system that covers all NHS trusts in England, including acute hospitals, primary care trusts and mental health trusts. HES information is stored as a large collection of separate records, one for each period of care, in a secure data warehouse.
A detailed record is collected for each 'episode' of admitted patient care delivered in England, either by NHS hospitals or delivered in the independent sector but commissioned by the NHS.
Admitted patient care data is available for every financial year from 1989-90 onwards. HES data is now collected monthly.
Hospital Episode Statistics, Admitted Patient Care Activity publications are national statistics.
1.2 Prescription Data
NHS Business Services Authority
The prescription data included in this report uses prescribing data held by NHS Prescription Services in ePACT2, an online database. It includes items prescribed in primary care and dispensed in the community. It excludes prescriptions written in hospitals that are dispensed in the community, prescriptions dispensed in hospitals, dental prescribing and private prescriptions.
Prescriptions are written on a prescription form known as FP10 and each single item on the form is counted as a prescription item. Net Ingredient Cost (NIC) is the basic cost of a drug. It does not take account of discounts, dispensing costs, fees or prescription charges income.
2. Sources signposted in this report
2.1 Active Lives Surveys
The Active Lives Surveys (ALS) published by Sport England provide information on participation in sport and recreation. There are separate surveys for children and adults. The surveys classify activity level into active, fairly active and inactive based on the number of minutes of moderate intensity equivalent (MIE) physical activity.
The Active Lives Survey publication is an Official Statistic.
2.2 The Eatwell Guide
Public Health England
The Eatwell Guide is a policy tool used to define government recommendations on eating healthily and achieving a balanced diet.
The Eatwell Guide - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
2.3 Family Food
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
Family Food is an annual publication which provides detailed statistical information on purchased quantities, expenditure and nutrient intakes derived from both household and eating out food and drink. Data is collected for a sample of households in the United Kingdom using self-reported diaries of all purchases, including food eaten out, over a two-week period. Where possible, quantities are recorded in the diaries but otherwise estimated. Energy and nutrient intakes are calculated using standard nutrient composition data for each of some 500 types of food. Current estimates are based on data collected in the ‘Family Food Module of the Living Costs and Food Survey’.
The Family Food publication is a National Statistic.
2.4 Health at a Glance
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
Health at a Glance presents a set of key indicators of health status, determinants of health, health care resources and activities, quality of care, health expenditure and financing in OECD countries.
2.5 Health Survey for England
The Health Survey for England series was designed to monitor trends in the nation’s health, to estimate the proportion of people in England who have specified health conditions, and to estimate the prevalence of certain risk factors and combinations of risk factors associated with these conditions. The surveys provide regular information that cannot be obtained from other sources on a range of aspects concerning the public’s health and many of the factors that affect health.
Each survey in the series includes core questions and measurements (such as blood pressure, height and weight, and analysis of blood and saliva samples), as well as modules of questions on topics that vary from year to year.
The Health Survey for England has been carried out since 1993.
The Health Survey for England is a National Statistic.
2.6 National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP)
Established in 2005/06, the NCMP for England records height and weight measurements of children in state-maintained schools in reception (aged 4–5 years) and year 6 (aged 10–11 years). However, 2006/07 is the first year that the data were considered an acceptable quality although obesity prevalence for year 6 children between 2006/07 and 2008/09 is felt to be an underestimate due to low participation. The programme provides robust data for the child excess weight indicators in the Public health Outcomes Framework, and is a key element of the Government’s approach to tackling child obesity.
Public Health England (PHE) has responsibility for national oversight of the programme, and on its behalf, the central collation and analysis of the NCMP data is coordinated by NHS Digital. Local Authorities have a statutory responsibility to deliver the National Child Measurement Programme.
The National Child Measurement Programme is a National Statistic.
2.7 National Diet and Nutrition Survey
Public Health England
The National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) is designed to assess the diet, nutrient intake and nutritional status of the general population aged 1½ years and over living in private households in the UK.
2.8 National Travel Survey
Department for Transport
The National Travel Survey is a household survey of personal travel by residents of England travelling within Great Britain. This is a long-term survey that began in 1988, with data collected annually in two ways: from an interview with household members, and from trip diaries which respondents keep for 7-day period. All trips, stages and distance statistics are based on the trip diary. In 2016, around 7,000 households and 18,000 individuals took part.
Data from the National Travel Survey feeds into the report ‘Walking and cycling statistics, England’ also produced by the Department for Transport. This presents information on walking and cycling in England.
The National Travel Survey is a National Statistic.
2.9 Obesity prevention: clinical guideline
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
This guidance covers preventing children, young people and adults becoming overweight or obese. It outlines how the NHS, local authorities, early years’ settings, schools and workplaces can increase physical activity levels and make dietary improvements among their target populations.
2.10 Physical activity guidelines
UK Chief Medical Officers
Physical activity guidelines have been provided by the Chief Medical Officers in the UK on the amount and type of physical activity people should be doing to improve their health.
2.11 Physical activity tool
Public Health England
This tool brings together data for the whole of England on physical activity, including walking and cycling, as well as data on related risk factors and conditions such as obesity and diabetes.
3. Other resources related to obesity, physical activity and diet
3.1 Annual Reports of the Chief Medical Officer
The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) annual reports present information or ‘surveillance’ about the health of England’s population to the government. The CMO may give recommendations to government, and individual organisations, to make improvements to the public health system.
3.2 Association for the Study of Obesity
The Association for the Study of Obesity (ASO) was founded in 1967 and is the UK's foremost charitable organisation dedicated to the understanding and treatment of obesity.
3.3 Child Measurement Programme for Wales
Public Health Wales
The Child Measurement Programme (CMP) for Wales contains findings of the programme of child measurements carried out with children attending reception class in schools in Wales.
3.4 Food Standards Agency
The Food Standards Agency is an independent government department responsible for food safety and hygiene across the UK. They work with businesses to help them produce safe food, and with local authorities to enforce food safety regulations.
3.5 Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment (MENE)
The MENE survey provides trend data for how people experience the natural environment in England.
3.6 National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)
NICE guidance covers preventing children, young people and adults becoming overweight or obese. It outlines how the NHS, local authorities, early years’ settings, schools and workplaces can increase physical activity levels and make dietary improvements among their target populations.
3.7 National Obesity Forum
The National Obesity Forum is a charity which was formed in 2000 with the remit of raising awareness of obesity in the UK and promoting the ways in which it can be addressed. This includes public-facing initiatives and the training of clinicians and healthcare professionals on how to identify and address weight management issues and obesity. The National Obesity Forum campaign to raise public awareness of obesity and the ways it can be tackled through achievable and manageable lifestyle changes.
3.8 PE and Sport Survey
Department for Education
This research aimed to measure the take-up of 3-hours of high-quality PE and out-of-hours school sport in a typical week.
3.9 Physical Activity tool
Public Health England
The Physical Activity tool is part of a series of products produced by Public Health England providing local data alongside national comparisons to support local health improvement.
The tool brings together data for the whole of England on physical activity, including walking and cycling, as well as data on related risk factors and conditions such as obesity and diabetes. The tool presents data at local level to help promote physical activity, develop understanding, and support benchmarking, commissioning and service improvement.
The Public Health England Obesity website (formerly the National Obesity Observatory) provides a single point of contact for wide-ranging authoritative information on data, evaluation, evidence and research related to weight status and its determinants. They work closely with a wide range of organisations and provide support to policy makers and practitioners involved in obesity and related issues.
3.10 Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN)
SACN advises on nutrition and related health matters. It advises Public Health England (PHE) and other UK government organisations.
3.11 Scottish Health Survey
The Scottish Health Survey provides a detailed picture of the health of the Scottish population in private households and is designed to make a major contribution to the monitoring of health in Scotland.
3.12 Tackling obesities: future choices
Government Office for Science and Department of Health and Social Care
This project looked at how we can implement a sustainable response to obesity in the UK over the next 40 years. It gathered scientific evidence from across a wide range of disciplines to inform a strategic view of this issue.
3.13 Tackling Obesity in England
National Audit Office (NAO)
NAO research identified wide variation in the way general practices manage overweight and obese patients, and uncertainty about which treatment and referral options were the most effective.
3.14 Taking Part Survey
Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport
The Taking Part survey has been in place for many years as DCMS’s flagship survey, collecting data on how adults and children engage with our sectors. It is a nationally representative face to face survey, with a longitudinal web panel for a subset of interviewees.
3.15 World Health Organisation
The WHO BMI database provides both national and sub-national adult underweight, overweight and obesity prevalence rates by country, year of survey and gender.
3.16 Welsh Health Survey
The survey provides information on health status, illnesses, lifestyle, health service use and children.
3.17 World Obesity Federation
The World Obesity Federation represents professional members of the scientific, medical and research communities from over 50 regional and national obesity associations. Through their membership they create a global community of organisations dedicated to solving the problems of obesity. They aim to lead and drive global efforts to reduce, prevent and treat obesity.