Publication

Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet - England, 2009

This is part of

Official statistics
Publication date:
Geographic coverage:
United Kingdom
Geographical granularity:
Strategic Health Authorities, Government Office Regions
Date range:
01 Jan 2003 to 31 Dec 2007

Summary

Note August 2011:

A number of errors have been identified in Table 7.5 - GHQ 12 score by body mass index (BMI) and gender, 2006 on page 164 of the Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet: England, 2009 report. The errors also affect the corresponding table in the accompanying Excel workbook. The commentary in the pdf report is unaffected. Please see the errata note for further information and corrected figures. The NHS IC apologises for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Summary:

This publication presents a range of information on obesity, physical activity and diet, drawn together from a variety of sources.

This publication also summarises government plans and targets in this area, as well as providing sources of further information and links to relevant documents and key sources.

This, our third report on obesity, physical activity and diet includes:

  • overweight and obesity prevalence among adults and children
  • physical activity levels among adults and children
  • trends in purchases and consumption of food and drink, and energy intake and health outcomes of being overweight or obese.

For the first time, the report provides information on attitudes towards and knowledge about leading a healthy lifestyle for both adults and children. This includes information on how much physical activity should be done, barriers towards doing more physical activity, knowledge of the recommended daily number of portions of fruit and vegetables and attitudes towards a healthy diet.

Key facts

Obesity:

  • in 2007, 24 per cent of adults (aged 16 or over) in England were classified as obese (BMI 30 kg/m2 or over); an overall increase from 15 per cent in 1993
  • men and women were equally likely to be obese, however men were more likely than women (41 per cent compared to 32 per cent) to be overweight (Body Mass Index (BMI) 25 to less than 30 kg/m2)
  • 37 per cent of adults had a raised waist circumference in 2007 compared to 23 per cent in 1993. Women were more likely then men (41 per cent and 33 per cent respectively) to have a raised waist circumference (over 88cm in women, over 102cm in men)
  • in 2007, 17 per cent of boys aged 2 to 15, and 16 per cent of girls were classed as obese, an increase from 11 per cent and 12 per cent respectively in 1995. Indications suggest that the trend in obesity may be flattening out and the next couple of years' data will be important in confirming whether this is a continuing pattern

Physical Activity:

  • overall, physical activity has increased among both men and women since 1997, with 40 per cent of men and 28 per cent of women meeting the recommended levels in 2006 (at least 30 minutes of at least moderate intensity activity at least five times a week) compared with 32 per cent and 21 per cent respectively in 1997
  • in 2007, approximately a third of adults had not heard of the government guidelines for physical activity (34 per cent of men and 29 per cent of women)
  • when asked how much physical activity adults thought people their age should do, 16 per cent of men and 9 per cent of women specified a level equivalent to the Chief Medical Officer's minimum recommended target.
  • A further 25 per cent of men and 23 per cent of women specified a level of physical activity greater than the minimum recommendations, while most adults (69 per cent of men and 68 per cent of women) either under-estimated how much physical activity adults should do or did not know
  • over two-thirds of adults (66 per cent of men and 69 per cent of women) said they would like to do more physical activity
  • among men, the most common reason given which stopped them doing more physical activity was work commitments (45 per cent), followed by lack of leisure time (38 per cent).
  • Women were most likely to report a lack of leisure time (37 per cent), with work commitments almost as frequently mentioned (34 per cent)
  • in 2007, boys aged 2 to 15 were more likely than girls to meet the recommended levels of physical activity with 72 per cent of boys and 63 per cent of girls reporting taking part in 60 minutes or more of physical activity on each of the seven days in the previous week
  • during the 2007/08 academic year, 90 per cent of pupils took part in at least two hours of high quality PE and sport at school a week, a gradual increase since 2003/04 when the figure was 62 per cent
  • only a small proportion of children aged 11 to 15 said they thought they should be doing physical activity at the level of the current minimum recommendation (10 per cent). A further eight per cent of boys and three per cent of girls overestimated the minimum recommendation
  • girls were more likely than boys to want to do more physical activity, 74 per cent of girls aged 11 to 15 compared to 61 per cent of boys.

Diet

  • in 2007, 27 per cent of men and 31 per cent of women consumed five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day, up from 22 per cent and 25 per cent respectively in 2001
  • women were more likely than men to know the recommended number of portions per day (78 per cent of women compared to 62 per cent of men)
  • among children aged 5 to 15, in 2007, 21 per cent of both boys and girls consumed five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day, up from 11 per cent of both boys and girls in 2001
  • 63 per cent of boys and 73 per cent of girls knew that five portions of fruit and vegetables a day was the recommendation.

Health Outcomes

  • the number of Finished Admission Episodes (FAEs) in NHS hospitals with a primary diagnosis of obesity among adults and children was 5,018 in 2007/08. This was 30 per cent higher than the number of FAEs in 2006/07 (3,862) and almost seven times higher than the number of FAEs in 1996/97 (738)
  • the number of Finished Consultant Episodes (FCEs) with a primary diagnosis of obesity and a main or secondary procedure of "bariatric surgery" among adults and children in 2007/08 was 2,724, an increase of 40 per cent since the previous year (1,951 in 2006/07)
  • in 2007, 1.23 million prescription items were dispensed for the treatment of obesity compared to 0.13 million items in 1999. Between 2006 and 2007, the number of items dispensed for the treatment of obesity increased by 16 per cent (from 1.06 million in 2006).

Resources

Related links