Figures suggest spike in hospital admissions where obesity is a factor

Hospital admissions related to obesity is on the rise.

Hospital admissions related to obesity is on the rise. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Hospital admissions linked to obesity have skyrocketed across North London, new figures suggest.

NHS Digital’s report, Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet in England 2020, has set out the number of people admitted to hospital around the country for conditions directly or indirectly related to being overweight from April 1, 2018 to December 31, 2019.

The dataset, released on May 5, found there were 876,000 hospital admissions around the country where obesity was a factor over the research period, a hike of 23 per cent on 2017/18.

Many London boroughs are grappling with an even greater hike, with Westminster recording 3,110 admissions from April 2018 to December 2019, up 66pc on the previous period.

Brent saw a 42pc increase, up from 4,335 to 6,145 admissions, and Hackney saw 33pc more admissions with a rise up to 4,895.

Elsewhere, there have been 41pc more recorded in Barnet, 9pc more in Haringey, 5pc more in Islington and a quarter more in Camden.

Policy and insight lead at Healthwatch Camden, Anna Wright, said Camden Council has been supporting residents to have healthier lifestyles and is targeting the most affected communities.

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Cllr Tim Mitchell, deputy leader and cabinet member for adult social care and public health at Westminster Council, said he is committed to helping residents lead healthy and active lifestyles: “An increase in the rate of hospital admissions where obesity was a factor is concerning, but it should be recognised that the way these figures are reported has changed and this will have an impact on the statistics.”

It is notable that admissions relating directly to obesity have fallen over the period - by 17pc in Westminster, 14pc in Barnet, 6pc in Hackney, 25pc in Haringey, 15pc in Islington, 44pc in Camden, and remained level in Brent.

London regional director of Public Health England (PHE), Professor Kevin Fenton, stressed that obesity and its health risks are a “serious concern”: “Obesity is a complex issue and influenced by a variety of factors, including social and economic deprivation and age.

“This is often reflected in statistics for local areas where we see variation based on affluence and deprivation.”

He said PHE London has worked with every borough to make sure it has an obesity action plan and with London mayor Sadiq Khan to support London’s Child Obesity Taskforce.

It has also put School Superzones in place, which are areas meant to be healthier and safer places for children to live and play.