Healthcare: On the Agenda - Obesity treatment on rise in the NHS

In a nutshell

A report published by the NHS Information Centre has revealed the number of recorded hospital admissions related to obesity rose by more than 30 per cent last year, up from nearly 8,000 in 2008/09 to nearly 10,600 in 2009/10. The report suggests that more people are turning to surgery to treat obesity.

The number of prescription items dispensed in England to combat obesity also increased, from 1.28 million in 2008 to 1.45 million in 2009, a rise of 13 per cent.

The report

Statistics on obesity, physical activity and diet: England 2011 presents a comprehensive picture of obesity in England, with analysis on the health outcomes of people who are overweight and obese, alongside a summary of published diet, exercise and weight-related information. A significant increase was seen in the number of bariatric (stomach shrinking) procedures, which rose by 70 per cent from 4,200 in 2008/09 to 7,200 in 2009/10.

PR strategy

Media relations for the story were carried out in-house by the NHS Information Centre press team.

Media coverage

The report was covered extensively in the UK media on 25 February. '10,000 treated in hospital for being dangerously fat,' wrote the Daily Mail (page 13); 'Obese choose surgery over healthy living,' said The Independent (page 9). The story also featured on BBC News online and the Daily Mirror and The Sun websites.

7,200 - Bariatric procedures carried out in 2009/10

1,400 - Post-bariatric surgery maintenance procedures carried out in 2009/10

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