William Eichler 29 April 2016

Obesity costs NHS £5bn a year, LGA say

Obesity prevalence in England has almost doubled since the early nineties, according to new statistics.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) has published its most recent report which shows an increase in obesity prevalence from 15% in 1993 to 26% in 2014.

In 2014, the HSCIC records, 58% of women and 65% of men were overweight or obese.

The figures demonstrate similar trends for children. More than 1 in 5 children in Reception, and 1 in 3 children in Year 6 were measured as obese or overweight.

The HSCIC also found children in most deprived areas are twice as likely to be obese than children in least deprived areas.

The Local Government Association (LGA) warns rising levels of childhood obesity are putting hospitals under strain.

Responding to the HSCIC’s findings, the LGA’s Community Wellbeing spokeswoman, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, said:

‘The fact that the number of obesity-related hospital 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 £5bn a year.

‘Councils have long been calling for action to tackle obesity, such as clearer labelling of sugar content, calorie counts on menus, and sugar reduction in soft drinks. We cannot delay tackling this issue any longer.’

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