Obesity-related hospital admissions have gone up with a record one million people being hospitalised in England from 2019 to 2020, according to official figures.
NHS Digital said that around 10,780 admissions to hospital were caused directly by obesity as people sought weight loss treatment or gastric surgery.
But in total there were 1.02 million hospital admissions where someone’s obesity was listed as the main or secondary cause for their visit. This number is up from 876,000 the year before.
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The data showed two-thirds (64 per cent) of the admissions were female and were higher in poorer areas of the country when compared to more affluent places.
Obesity increases the risk of people developing tye 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease and stroke. The condition is also increasing the pressure on the NHS, which is already over-burdened.
Not only that but obesity is thought to be one of the biggest risk factors for becoming severely ill with COVID-19. According to research carried out by the World Obesity Federation COVID-19 deaths have been 10 times higher in countries where at least half of adults are overweight.
Professor Stephen Powis, NHS England’s medical director has commented on the newly published figures calling them “shocking”.
He said: “Today’s shocking figures are a growing sign of the nation’s obesity crisis which is putting hundreds of thousands of people at greater risk of becoming severely ill with covid, as well as heart attacks, stroke, cancer and other deadly diseases.
“Carrying extra pounds not only puts a strain on your physical health, but also on the health service so as lockdown restrictions start to ease, there has never been a better time to take steps to live a healthier lifestyle.”
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The figures will come as a disappointment to some as the Government has been taking steps to drive down obesity rates.
In March ministers announced GPs will prescribe more than 700,000 people diet plans, apps and wearable activity trackers over the next year.
Prior to that a ban on junk food advertising before the 9pm watershed was introduced and online advertising for unhealthy food were also restricted.
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