Rise in obesity-related hospital admissions prompts NHS challenge for food industry

Jack Woodfield
Thu, 09 May 2019
Rise in obesity-related hospital admissions prompts NHS challenge for food industry
There were more than 700,000 obesity-related hospital admissions in 2017/18 in England, according to new figures.

This figure is up by 100,000 on 2016/17 and the NHS has called for action from the food industry to further tackle the proportions of sugar in food.

Almost one-third of adults in England are now obese, according to NHS Digital, increasing their risk of health complications including type 2 diabetes.

NHS England's chief executive Simon Stevens said: "With almost 100,000 more hospitalisations in just one year, this is the latest evidence that obesity is causing deadly diseases including 13 types of cancer, heart attacks, strokes and type 2 diabetes, while putting increasing strain on NHS staff and services.

"The NHS is stepping up to treat these conditions, but it's clearly time for manufacturers and retailers to protect our children and young people by making further reductions in junk calories and excess sugar and salt that is quietly being added to processed food and drink."

Last year the government introduced a sugar tax to lessen rates of obesity, particularly among children. The NHS's Diabetes Prevention Programme has also been rolled out nationwide to prevent people at risk of type 2 diabetes from developing the condition.

Significantly, dietary approaches have been shown to help obese people lose weight sustainably and avoid type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Digital Media's Low Carb Program has shown that after one year 26% of users with type 2 diabetes have even managed to put the condition into remission.

While progress is being made, experts are still targeting greater impact from the government in reducing the easy availability and overly frequent marketing of junk foods.

Caroline Cerny, of the Obesity Health Alliance, a coalition of more than 40 health-related organisations, said: "There is no single solution to reducing obesity but it is clear that our whole environment needs to change to help everyone to eat well. This will take strong action from government to restrict promotions and advertising of junk food and hold the food industry to account to make everyday food and drinks less sugary."

According to NHS Digital there were more than 10,000 hospital admissions because of obesity directly, of which 6,627 were for weight loss surgery.
Leave a Comment
Login via Facebook
or
Have your say in the Diabetes Forum
Your comments may be moderated. Please report any spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts.