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National Statistics
Publication, Part of

Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet - England, 2016

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 Apr 2004 to 31 Mar 2015


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:

Part 1: Overweight and obesity prevalence among adults and children

Part 2: 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

Part 3: Physical activity levels among adults and children

Part 4: Diet among adults and children, including trends in purchases, and consumption of food and drink and energy intake

Each section provides an overview of the key findings from these sources, as well as providing sources of further information and links to relevant documents and sources.

Some of the data contained in the chapter have been published previously by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). Figures on obesity-related Finished Admission Episodes and Finished Consultant Episodes for 2014-15 are presented using data from the HSCIC's Hospital Episode Statistics as well as data from the Prescribing Unit at the HSCIC on prescription items dispensed for treatment of obesity.




  • In 2014, 58 per cent of women and 65 per cent of men were overweight or obese. Obesity prevalence has increased from 15 per cent in 1993 to 26 per cent in 2014.
  • In 2014/15, more than 1 in 5 children in Reception, and 1 in 3 children in Year 6 were measured as obese or overweight. Children in most deprived areas are twice as likely to be obese than children in least deprived areas.
  • In 2014/15a, there were 6,032 Finished Consultant Episodes (FCE's) in NHS hospitals with a primary diagnosis of obesity and a main or secondary procedure of bariatric surgery.
  • 60 per cent of bariatric surgery patients were aged between 35 and 54. 76 per cent of bariatric surgery patients were female.
  • In 2014, 519,000 items were prescribed for the treatment of obesity in primary care in England. That is 8 per cent less than in 2013 when 563,000 items were prescribed.
  • The net ingredient cost (NIC) of these prescription items was £15m in 2014, half the 2011 figure.
  • In 2014/15, 36 per cent of adults (16+) played sport at least once a week. 57 per cent did not play any sport in the 28 days prior to being surveyed.

a The data on hospital activity presented in this report are for inpatients only and therefore does not reflect all hospital activity. Outpatient procedures are not included in these figures due to the primary diagnosis code being poorly populated, and there being no certainty that procedures are for obesity diagnoses. This should be considered when interpreting changes over time as recording and clinical practice may change and in particular, practices vary between hospitals as to whether some episodes are carried out or recorded in outpatient or inpatient settings.


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Last edited: 8 December 2021 9:00 am