Surge in bariatric surgery as obesity crisis grows

Weight-loss operations in England rose 9% in a single year, according to latest official figures that show two-thirds of men are now overweight or obese.

Official figures show 65% of men in England are now overweight or obese (Photo: iStock)
Official figures show 65% of men in England are now overweight or obese (Photo: iStock)

Hospitals reported 8,790 inpatient procedures including stomach stapling and gastric bypass in 2011/12, a rise of 700 on the previous year and four times the number in 2006/7.

NHS Information Centre statistics also showed 65% of men and 58% of women are overweight or obese. It means more than 30m people in the UK are now an unhealthy weight.

The latest figures, for 2011/12, show a 'marked increase' in the proportion of adults that are obese. Between 1993 and 2011, obesity rates rose from 13% to 24% in men and from 16% to 26% in women.

Just two in five adults are now classed as having 'normal' weight.

Tim Straughan, chief executive of the NHS Information Centre, said: 'Based on BMI measurement, the proportion of adults estimated to be of a normal weight has dropped substantially since this report’s time series began in 1993.'

Graham Rowan, chairman of the Obesity Management Association (OMA) said: 'The obesity epidemic is getting worse by the day and steadily spiralling out of control.'

The report, Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet, sets out the obesity crisis facing the country.

One in seven adults in the north-east of England are obese. This region has the highest rate of admission for obesity-related illness at 56 per 100,000 people. This compares with just 12 per 100,000 in the east of England.

Hospital admissions in England grew by 1% in 2011/12 to 11,740 - three times higher than the number admitted in 2006/7. Bariatric operations for obesity grew by 9% over the previous year, to 8,790.

The figures come just days after medical royal colleges called for new fast food outlets near schools to be banned and a 20% tax on sugary drinks to curb the 'crisis' of soaring obesity levels.

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