Thousands admitted for obesity related illnesses in North Somerset
- Credit: PA
Thousands of hospital admissions in North Somerset each year are a result of obesity, which the NHS has said is putting ‘unnecessary strain’ on health services.
NHS Digital data reveals there were 3,605 hospital admissions in North Somerset where obesity was a factor in 2018-19.
The data also revealed women accounted for 2,530, or 70 per cent, of North Somerset’s obesity-related hospital admissions during the period.
The South West was the fifth-worst affected of the country’s nine regions, with a rate of 1,687 per 100,000 population.
The East Midlands had the highest rate last year, at 2,343 – nearly double that of the South East, which had the lowest rate of 1,176.
Nationally, there were 876,000 admissions due to obesity in 2018-19, a 23 per cent increase on 2017-18, with the most deprived areas worst affected.
Helen Kirrane, head of policy, campaigns and mobilisation at Diabetes UK, said the rise was mostly likely the result of more people getting the treatment they need.
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She said: “We know that primary admissions for obesity are up, but these are predominantly related to people having bariatric surgery.
“Secondary admissions for obesity have also risen significantly, but the caveat here is that a lot of these are probably due to better recording of obesity as a factor in admissions.
“We are currently living in uncertain times, but we shouldn’t forget people are still living with and developing obesity and its related health conditions such as type-two diabetes.
However, Ms Kirrane stressed it was ‘vital’ the Government followed through on its childhood obesity plan commitments, while the NHS and councils continued to support people to manage their weight.
An NHS spokesperson said: “With a 20 per cent increase in hospital admissions over the past five years directly linked to obesity, it is clear obesity is causing major diseases including cancer, heart attacks, stroke and type-two diabetes, while putting unnecessary strain on NHS services.
“The NHS is playing its part through its long-term plan, but other industries must also step up and prevent the harm obesity is causing, particularly to young people.”