UK Obesity Statistics
Trends in Overweight and Obesity
About 46% of men in England and 32% of women are overweight (a body mass index of 25-30 kg/m2), and an additional 17% of men and 21% of women are obese (a body mass index of more than 30 kg/m2 ).
Overweight and obesity increase with age. About 28% of men and 27% of women aged 16-24 are overweight or obese but 76% of men and 68% of women aged 55-64 are overweight or obese.
Overweight and obesity are increasing. The percentage of adults who are obese has roughly doubled since the mid-1980's.
Overweight and Obesity in Children
The prevalence of obesity increases with age throughout childhood. In 1996, around 13% of 8 year olds and 17% of 15 year olds in England were obese. These levels of childhood obesity are likely to exacerbate the trend towards increased overweight and obesity in the adult population: compared to thin children, obese children have a two-fold increase in the risk of becoming overweight adults.
Socio-economic Differences in Obesity
Obesity is more common in adults employed in manual occupations, particularly in women. A quarter of women working in unskilled manual occupations have a BMI of more than 30 kg/m2 compared to one in seven of those employed in a professional role. Both men and women working in unskilled manual occupations are over four times as likely as those in professional employment to be classified as morbidly obese.
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