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Obesity a factor in 711k hospital admissions

There were 711,000 in-patient hospital admissions where obesity was recorded as either a primary or secondary diagnosis in 2017-18.

This is an increase of 15% (94,000) on 2016-17, according to Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet, England, 2019, an annual collection of new and previously published figures on obesity, prescription items, prevalence among adults and children as well as physical activity and diet.

New figures show that around two thirds of the admissions where obesity was recorded as a primary or secondary diagnosis in 2017-18 were for women (66%). Of the 6,627 ‘finished consultant episodes’ for bariatric surgery, 79% of the patients were female.

The number of items prescribed in primary care for obesity treatment decreased by 8% from 401,000 items in 2017 to 371,000 items in 2018, continuing a downward trend since a peak of 1.45 million items in 2009. However the net ingredient cost for these items increased for the first time in five years, rising from £6.9m in 2017 to £8.1m in 2018.

Adult obesity prevalence stood at 29% in 2017, up from 26% in 2016. Among children the prevalence of child obesity in both Reception and Year 6 was over twice as high in the most deprived areas than in the least: 13% compared to 6% in reception year, and 27% compared to 12% in Year 6.

While 68% of men and 64% of women aged 19 and over met the government's physical activity guidelines for adults in 2017/18, 21% of men and 23% of women were classed as inactive. Among children, only 20% of boys and 14% of girls were meeting the government’s physical activity guidelines, and only 18% of children consumed the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day in 2017.

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