21 February 2013
The number of people in England being admitted to hospital because of obesity has tripled in five years, new research shows.
Hospitals reported 11,740 inpatient admissions with a primary diagnosis of obesity in 2011/12, one per cent more than in 2010/11 and five times as many in 2006/07.
The research, from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), shows the number of women coming into hospital because of obesity significantly outnumbered men, with female admissions in 2011/12 almost three times the number of male admissions – 8,740 compared to 2,990.
Half of women aged 16 and over were a 'normal' weight in 1993, but this proportion dropped to 29 per cent by 2011. 41 per cent of men of the same age were classed as of 'normal' weight, falling to 31 per cent over the same period.
People who are severely obese – typically defined as having a Body Mass Index of 35 – can seek weight loss surgery if changes to diet and lifestyle prove ineffective in helping them lose weight.
Tim Straughan, HSCIC chief executive, said: "It won't have escaped the majority of people that obesity is a high profile issue in this country.
"This annual report is important in bringing clarity to how this actually affects people, patients and the NHS, from the weighing scales to the operating theatre."
Posted by Jeannette Royston
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