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National Statistics
Publication, Part of

Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet - England, 2011

Official statistics, National statistics
Publication Date:
Geographic Coverage:
Geographical Granularity:
Ambulance Trusts, Regions, Clinical Commissioning Groups, Clinical Commissioning Area Teams, Clinical Commissioning Regions, Ambulance Trusts, Deprivation
Date Range:
01 Jan 2010 to 01 Jan 2011


Note, August 2011:

A number of errors have been identified in Table 7.5 - GHQ 12 score by body mass index (BMI) and gender, 2008 on page 62 of the Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet: England, 2011 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.


This statistical report presents a range of information on obesity, physical activity and diet, drawn together from a variety of sources. The topics covered include:

  • 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
  • health outcomes of being overweight or obese

This report contains seven chapters:

Chapter 1: Introduction; this summarises Government plans and targets in this area, as well as providing sources of further information and links to relevant documents. Note, many of these were introduced by the previous government but were relevant at the time the data were collected.

Chapters 2 to 6 cover obesity, physical activity and diet providing an overview of the key findings from a number of sources of previously published information, whilst maintaining useful links to each section of the reports. Additional analysis has been undertaken of the Health Survey for England (HSE) to provide more detailed information previously unpublished.

Chapter 7: Health Outcomes; presents a range of information about the health outcomes of being obese or overweight which includes information on health risks, hospital admissions and prescription drugs used for treatment of obesity. Figures presented in Chapter 7 have been obtained from a number of sources and presented in a user-friendly format. Most of the data contained in the chapter have been published previously by the NHS Information Centre or the National Audit Office. Previously unpublished figures on obesity-related Finished Hospital Episodes and Finished Consultant Episodes for 2009/10 are presented using data from the NHS Information Centre's Hospital Episode Statistics as well as data from the Prescribing Unit at the NHS Information Centre on prescription items dispensed for treatment of obesity.


  • In 2009, almost a quarter of adults (22 per cent of men and 24 per cent of women aged 16 or over) in England were classified as obese (BMI 30kg/m2 or over).
  • A greater proportion of men than women (44 per cent compared with 33 per cent) in England were classified as overweight in 2009 (BMI 25 to less than 30kg/m2).
  • In 2009/10, almost a quarter of adults (24.3 per cent of respondents) in England reported that they had taken part in sport on 11 to 28 days within a four week period.
  • People are eating less saturated fat, trans fat and added sugar than they were 10 years ago.
  • In 2008, among adults aged 16 and over, overweight or obese men and women were more likely to have high blood pressure than those in the normal weight group; high blood pressure was recorded in 48 per cent of men and 46 per cent of women in the obese group, compared with 32 per cent of overweight men and women and 17 per cent of men and women in the normal weight group.


Last edited: 8 February 2022 12:30 pm