The NHS has recently revealed that it deals with 3,000 daily admissions related to obesity, doubling compared to admissions in 2017.
In 2022/2023, NHS England dealt with a record number of 1.2 million hospital admissions where obesity was a factor, equivalent to 3,000 per day. This figure has increased by 617,000 since 2016/2017.
Obesity was the primary factor for almost 9,000 of the admissions included in this latest figure, as reported by NHS Digital. It was a contributing factor for hundreds of thousands of the admissions.
The data also revealed that the number of children under 16 being admitted to hospital due to obesity has more than doubled from 4,062 in 2016/2017 to 8,300 in 2022/2023.
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People living in poorer areas were twice as likely to be admitted to hospital for obesity related reasons compared to those living in richer areas. Per 100,000 hospital admissions, 3,400 were related to obesity in the most deprived ten areas of England compared to 1,430 in the richest ten areas.
Daisy Cooper, Liberal Democrat deputy leader and health spokeswoman, said: The UK should be one of the healthiest countries in the world but under this Conservative government things have gone from bad to worse.
“Our most deprived communities are being hit hardest by the obesity epidemic, often unable to afford healthy food or access health advice.”
She continued: “This Conservative government has slashed support for farmers and made healthy, home-grown food out of reach for far too many people.
“To make matters worse, people are struggling to see a GP when they need to, meaning health conditions deteriorate instead of being diagnosed and treated early.
“Ministers have squandered numerous opportunities to make the UK a healthier place to live, instead choosing to kick the can down the road time and again.”
The worst rates were in Luton, with almost 4,900 per 100,000 hospital admissions being due to obesity.
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Other areas with admission rates of over 4,000 included Gloucestershire, Southampton, Salford, Rotherham, Bradford and much of east London.
Areas with admission rates below 1,000 included Windsor, Wokingham, Slough, Oxfordshire, Reading and Brighton. Bracknell Forest in Berkshire had an admission rate of just 420 per 100,000.
The data highlighted that pregnant women were the most likely to be admitted with obesity as a complicating factor, as obesity was an issue for the mother or child in 147,143 maternity admissions.
These revelations come after it was reported that the obesity crisis costs Britain approximately £100 billion each year, leading to calls for ministers to tackle junk food with the same aggressiveness as smoking.
Prior to this, it was thought that obesity cost Britain approximately £60 billion.