Healthy living * Weight loss

Hospital admissions for obesity soar by 360%

Zone default image More bariatric surgery carried out by NHS

Hospital admissions for obesity related illness in England have risen by 360% in the last five years, and 60% in the past year, latest figures reveal today.

Figures released by the NHS Information Centre show that 8,085 people were admitted to hospital for obesity in 2008/09 compared with 5,056 in 2007/08, a 60% rise in a single year.

In 2003/04 only 1,746 people were hospitalised due to obesity related illness, which means there has been a 360% increase in admissions over the past five years.

The figures include people admitted for obesity-related health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, circulatory and breathing problems as well as bariatric surgery.

Currently about 25% of the UK population is obese - with a body mass index greater than 30, and 40% are overweight.

The body mass index can be calculated by dividing a person's weight by their height squared. A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is regarded as healthy, 25 to 29.9 is overweight, 30 to 40 is obese and over 40 is severely or morbidly obese.

Tim Straughan, NHS Information Centre chief executive, said: “The large increase in admissions for obesity reflects the growing impact that obesity has on the health of our nation as well as the demands it is placing on limited NHS resources.

"However, it also reflects the fact that overweight people are resorting to treatments such as bariatric surgery to tackle their health problems."

This article was published on Wed 28 October 2009

Image © Danny Hooks -

Related Stories

Use this story

Link to this page
Printer friendly version

Share this page