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17% rise in obesity-related hospital admissions in 2019/2020

The NHS has revealed a 17% rise in obesity related hospital admissions, but what does that mean for you? Our experts explain the facts.
woman in hospital

This week, NHS Digital published figures on obesity-related hospital admissions in England for 2019/2020 – the year leading up to and including the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unfortunately, the results aren’t great, with a 17% increase of hospital admissions that were for reasons relating to obesity.

Most of these admissions involved maternity care, but other illnesses such as arthritis, joint problems and heart conditions were amongst the top 10 in the list of obesity-related admissions.

In terms of numbers, just over a million people were admitted to hospitals for an obesity-related problem in 2019.

However, cases where obesity was the main cause of hospital admission fell by 3% – though this is attributed to the fact that fewer bariatric surgeries were taking place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The results also showed that women made up 64% of obesity-related admissions, whilst deprived areas were most affected – with the most deprived areas having more than twice as many admissions relating to obesity as the least deprived areas of the country. 

These figures are rather alarming, as a 17% increase equates to around 150,000 more people being admitted to hospitals where excess weight was a factor in their condition or treatment.

To visualise this, 150,000 is roughly the population of Oxford.

How to avoid obesity-related hospital admissions 

Although it seems rather obvious, the best way to avoid an obesity-related hospital admission is to work on reducing your weight to a more healthy BMI range.

Not only will this reduce your risk of serious conditions such as type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart attack, but it also reduces the risk of any hospital admissions for other conditions where obesity may be listed as a factor.  

Unfortunately, losing weight as an obese person can often be incredibly difficult, and many people with a high BMI have endured years of attempting to lose weight.

However, achieving and maintaining weight loss can be incredibly difficult if the right support isn’t in place. 

Some people may need medical treatment to help them to lose weight, such as being prescribed weight loss medications such as GLP-1 Receptor Agonists or fat binders.

All weight loss treatments should be taken alongside implementing diet and lifestyle changes, such as reducing your calorie intake and increasing your physical activity levels.

If you’re considering treatment for weight management, please complete an online consultation with one of our weight loss specialists and find out whether we could help you lose weight.

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Laura Henderson

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