Record hospital admissions are due to obesity
There were 440,288 admissions to England’s hospitals in 2014/15 where obesity was the main reason for a person being admitted or was a secondary factor. In the Yorkshire and the Humber area the figure was 47,064 admissions.
The nationwide figure is the highest on record and is more than 10 times higher than the 40,741 recorded in 2004/5. Of the 440,288 admissions, 3,357 were for children aged under 16 - compared with just 1,506 in 2004/05.
A further 28,321 admissions were for those aged 16 to 24 and 71,483 were for those in the 25 to 34 age group, according to the report, from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).
Hertfordshire County Council had the most admissions for obesity by area, at 11,722, followed by Cornwall with 11,493. In Yorkshire, Bradford had the highest admissions with 10,070, in Leeds the figure was 6,453, in York 1,674 and in Barnsley 881.
Izzi Seccombe, community well-being spokeswoman for the Local Government Association, which represents councils that have a responsibility for public health, said: “These are extremely worrying figures that illustrate the scale of the challenge we face in the fight against obesity.
“But the problem will only get worse unless we take urgent action, with the number of obese adults in the country forecast to soar by a staggering 73% to 26 million people over the next 20 years.
“The fact that the number of admissions for children has more than doubled since 2004/5 underlines why it is vital that the Government uses its forthcoming childhood obesity strategy to address what is now one of the major health dangers of the 21st century.
“Obesity leads to serious health conditions later on in life, such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes, and is costing the NHS around £5 billion a year.”
Overall, 149,490 nationwide admissions were for men and 290,747 were for women.
The HSCIC report also showed that the proportion of adults now regarded as morbidly obese is growing.
Those who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more has more than tripled since 1993, affecting 2 per cent of men and 4 per cent of women in 2014.
Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum, said yesterday: “It is difficult to know which of these statistics is the more shaming on successive governments’ fruitless attempts to stem what is now dubbed as a national emergency.”