There were 617,000 admissions to NHS hospitals in 2016/17 where obesity was recorded as either a primary or secondary diagnosis2, an increase of 18 per cent on 2015/163 (525,000).
Of these, 10,705 admissions had obesity recorded as the main cause, an increase on 9,929 admissions in 2015/16.
The 'Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet; England, 2018' is an annual compendium 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 figures from the Hospital Episodes Statistics dataset in the report show that:
- Around two thirds of the admissions where obesity was recorded as either a primary or secondary diagnosis4 in 2016/17 were for women (66 per cent)
- There were 6,760 Finished Consultant Episodes (FCEs) for bariatric surgery in 2016/17, a 5 per cent increase on 2015/16 (6,438)5. Of these, 77 per cent of the patients were female.
The number of items prescribed by primary care for obesity treatment decreased by 10 per cent in 2017 (401,000 items) on the previous year (449,000)6. The Net Ingredient Cost (NIC)7 also continues the same downward trend, falling from £9.9m in 2016 to £6.9m in 2017.
- Adult obesity prevalence8 stood at 26 per cent in 2016, having remained around this level since 2010
- Obesity prevalence varied with area deprivation for women but not for men in 2016. The prevalence of obesity almost doubles for women in the most deprived areas (38 per cent) compared to the least deprived areas (20 per cent)9
- Child obesity prevalence10 in 2016/17 was 10 per cent in reception year and 20 per cent in year six.
Physical activity and diet11
- 66 per cent of men and 58 per cent of women aged 19 and over met the government's aerobic guidelines in 2016
- 21 per cent of men and 25 per cent of women were classed as inactive in 2016
- The proportion of children meeting government physical activity guidelines rose from 21 per cent in 2012 to 23 per cent in 2015 for boys, and from 16 per cent in 2012 to 20 per cent in 2015 for girls
- 24 per cent of men and 28 per cent of women consumed the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day in 2016
- 16 per cent of children consumed the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day in 2016, falling from 23 per cent in 2014.
Read the full report
Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet; England, 2018
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Notes to editors
1. NHS Digital is the national information and technology partner of the health and care system. Our team of information analysis, technology and project management experts create, deliver and manage the crucial digital systems, services, products and standards upon which health and care professionals depend. During the 2017/18 financial year, NHS Digital published 282 statistical reports. Our vision is to harness the power of information and technology to make health and care better.
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.
3. Admissions relate to inpatients only. Some of this increase may be due to hospitals being more likely to record obesity as a secondary diagnosis than previously.
4. 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.
5. These figures are admissions with a primary diagnosis of obesity and a main or secondary procedure of bariatric surgery. Some of the changes over time are due to changes in practice as to whether gastric band maintenance procedures are recorded as outpatient or inpatient settings.
6. 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
7. 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.
8. These figures were drawn from previously published data, 'Health Survey for England, 2016'
9. Based on the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) 2015 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
10. These figures were drawn from previously published data, 'National Child Measurement Programme - England 2016-17'. Ninety-five per cent of eligible children were measured in 2016/17.
11. These figures were also drawn by the Health Survey for England, 2016. Other information in these sections of the report include data from Sport England's 'Active Lives Survey 2016/17' and Department of Transport's Walking and Cycling Statistics, England, 2016.
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