Adult overweight and obesity
This report examines the prevalence of overweight and obesity in England in 2015. It compares the prevalence of obesity in different population groups, by age, sex, income and region; and shows to what extent hypertension, diabetes, and longstanding illness are more common among obese people.
- Over a quarter of adults in England (27% of men and women) were obese, with a body mass index (BMI) of 30kg/m2 or higher. A further 41% of men and 31% of women were overweight, with a BMI of at least 25 but less than 30kg/m2. 2% of men and 4% of women were morbidly obese, with a BMI of at least 40kg/m2.
- Obesity prevalence varied with household income in women but not in men: 39% of women in the 2nd lowest household income quintile were obese, compared with 17% of women in the highest income quintile.
- 35% of men and 47% of women had very high waist measurements (greater than 102cm for men, and greater than 88cm for women).
- Abdominal obesity (very high waist circumference) varied with household income in both men and women: 55% of women in the 2nd lowest income quintile had a very high waist circumference, compared with 37% of those in the highest income quintile.
- Obesity was associated with several other conditions, notably diabetes (both diagnosed and undiagnosed), hypertension, and limiting longstanding illness.
- Following a steep rise in obesity and abdominal obesity in the 1990s, increases were more gradual between 2001 and 2010, and appear to have plateaued since then.