In 2019, 64% of adults in England were overweight or obese. Being overweight or obese is associated with an increased risk for a number of common causes of disease and death including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. Between 1993 and 2019, there has been a marked increase in the proportion of adults who are overweight or obese. The proportion of adults with a very high waist circumference, an indicator of central obesity, has also increased over time. Among children, the proportion who were overweight or obese increased between 1995 and 2004, and has remained at similar levels, with year-on-year fluctuations since.
Children who are overweight and obese, aged 2 to 15
Source: NHS Digital
Base: Children aged 2-15 with a valid height and weight measurement
Notes: Body mass index (BMI) is defined as weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in metres. The UK National BMI centiles have been used to define ‘overweight’ and ‘obese’ in children as at or above the 85th and 95th BMI centiles respectively of the 1990 reference population. The centiles take into account the gender of the child and their age on the day of measurement.
Year-on-year fluctuations may not indicate real changes and can be within the margins of sampling error. We comment only on the changes that are more likely to reflect a real change.