Admissions to NHS hospitals, where obesity was recorded as either a primary or secondary diagnosis1, increased by 15% (94,000) on 2016/172.
The Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet, England, 2019 is 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.
New figures3 in the report show that:
- 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)5 for bariatric surgery in 2017/186, 79% of the patients were female.
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 20187, and continues a downward trend since a peak of 1.45 million items in 2009. The Net Ingredient Cost (NIC)8 saw an increase for the first time in five years, rising from £6.9m in 2017 to £8.1m in 2018.
- Adult obesity prevalence9 stood at 29% in 2017, an increase from 26% in 2016
- Prevalence of child obesity10 in both Reception and Year 6 was over twice as high in the most deprived areas11 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 adults12 in 2017/1813
- 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 children14
- Women (32%) were more likely to consume the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, than men (26%)15
- 18% of children consumed the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day in 2017.
Read the full report
Notes to editors
- A secondary diagnosis of obesity does not necessarily indicate obesity as a contributing factor for the admission but may instead indicate that obesity is a factor relevant to a patient's episode of care.
- Admissions relate to inpatients only. Some (though not all) of this increase may be due to hospitals being more likely to record obesity as a secondary diagnosis than they were previously. See the Data Quality Statement for more information.
- Taken from the Hospital Episode Statistics dataset
- As in footnote 2, a secondary diagnosis of obesity does not necessarily indicate obesity as a contributing factor for the admission but may instead indicate that obesity is a factor relevant to a patient's episode of care.
- A finished consultant episode (FCE) is a continuous period of admitted patient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider.
- These figures are admissions with a primary diagnosis of obesity and a main or secondary procedure of bariatric surgery.
- This prescribing data was obtained from the electronic Prescribing Analysis and Cost tool (ePACT) system, maintained by NHS Prescription Services, a division of NHS Business Services Authority.
- The NIC is the basic cost of a drug as listed in the Drug Tariff or price lists; it does not include discounts, dispensing costs, prescription charges or fees.
- These figures were drawn from previously published data, 'Health Survey for England, 2017'
- These figures were drawn from previously published data, 'National Child Measurement Programme - England 2017-18'. 95% of eligible children were measured in 2017/18.
- Based on the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) which is a measure of the overall deprivation experienced by people living in a neighbourhood. IMD rankings have been split into quintiles. They are calculated by the Department for Communities and Local Government: English Indices of Deprivation 2015
- Adults (aged 19 and over) should aim to be active daily. Over a week, activity should add up to at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more, or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity spread across the week. As published by the four UK Chief Medical Officers at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-physical-activity-guidelines
- These figures are taken from Public Health England’s analysis of the Sport England Active Lives Survey
- Children and young people (aged 5 to 18) should engage in moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity for at least 60 minutes and up to several hours every day.
- These figures were drawn from the Health Survey for England, 2017.
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