Overweight and obesity

  • 67% of men and 60% of women in England were overweight. This included 26% of men and 29% of women who were obese.
  • In 2018, 28% of children aged 2 to 15 in England were overweight or obese, including 15% who were obese.
  • Children’s overweight and obesity was associated with that of their parents.

Fruit and vegetable consumption

  • 28% of adults ate five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
  • 18% of children aged between 5 and 15 ate five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day.


  • In 2018, 17% of adults were current smokers of cigarettes.
  • 6% of adults were current users of e-cigarettes.
  • The proportion of children aged 8 to 15 who had ever smoked has decreased from 19% in 1997 to 4% in 2018.
  • 7% of 8- to 15-year-olds had used an e-cigarette.

Alcohol consumption

  • In 2018, 30% of men and 14% of women drank at increased or higher risk of harm (more than 14 units per week).
  • 31% of children aged 13 to 15 reported having ever had a proper alcoholic drink. Small proportions of younger children had tried drinking: 3% aged 8 to 10 and 6% aged 11 to 12.

Problem gambling

  • In 2018, 54% of adults had participated in some form of gambling activity during the previous 12 months.
  • Using the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI), 0.4% of adults were identified as problem gamblers and a further 3.6% as at-risk gamblers.

Adult health

  • The proportion of adults with untreated hypertension (high blood pressure) decreased from 2003 to 2018 for both men (20% to 13%) and women (16% to 10%).
  • Among adults whose blood was tested, more men (9%) than women (7%) were found to have diabetes (either diabetes diagnosed by a doctor or undiagnosed diabetes indicated by a blood level of glycated haemoglobin of 48mmol/mol or above).

Health status

  • In 2018, 41% of adults reported no health problems across the five dimensions of the EQ-5D instrument (mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain or discomfort, and anxiety or depression).
  • More men (44%) than women (39%) reported no health problems.

Longstanding conditions

  •  43% of adults aged 16 and over had at least one longstanding condition, most commonly conditions of the musculoskeletal system (17%).
  • Longstanding conditions were less prevalent among children than adults, varying with age from 7% of infants aged 0 to 1 to 20% of children aged 10 to 15.  


  • In 2018, 17% of men and 18% of women had ever had asthma diagnosed. This included 11% of men and 9% of women who currently had asthma.
  • In children more boys than girls had diagnosed asthma (12% and 7% respectively).

Social care for older adults

  • 19% of men and 28% of women aged 65 and over had some unmet need with at least one ADL, and 12% and 15% respectively needed help with at least one IADL.

Download the HSE 2018 Summary report here.