Childhood overweight and obesity statistics

Excess bodyweight

Cancer cases linked to excess bodyweight, UK


Children aged 2-15 overweight or obese, UK

Childhood overweight and obesity has health consequences both at the time and in older age. People who are overweight or obese in early life may remain obese in adulthood.[1]

Overweight and obesity prevalence is higher in children whose mothers are overweight or obese.[1]

Last reviewed:

Around three in ten (28-34%) children in the UK’s constituent countries are overweight or obese by body mass index (BMI) (2012-2014).[1-4] 7-20% of boys and 8-19% of girls in the UK’s constituent countries are obese.

Overweight and Obesity Prevalence, Children Aged 2-15, Countries of the UK, 2012-2014

    England (2014) Wales (2012) Scotland (2014) Northern Ireland (2014/15)
Boys Overweight 13 16 12 18
Obese 19 20 16 7
Overweight or obese 32 35 28 25
Girls Overweight 15 15 16 25
Obese 16 19 18 8
Overweight or obese 31 33 34 33
Children Overweight 14 15 14 21
Obese 17 19 17 7
Overweight or obese 31 34 31 28

Data collection periods, methods and definitions vary between UK constituent countries (see original sources for further information), so comparison between these countries is not recommended.

Last reviewed:

Overweight and obesity by body mass index (BMI) prevalence does not vary significantly between age groups in England, 2014 data show.[1]

Overweight and Obesity Prevalence, Children Aged 2-15, by Age, England, 2014

Last reviewed:

Overweight and obesity by body mass index (BMI) prevalence among children aged 2-15 in England has overall increased since the mid-1990s, though this includes an increase to the mid-2000s followed by a decrease.[1] Childhood overweight and obesity prevalence has not changed significantly in Scotland or Northern Ireland in recent years.[2,3]

Overweight and Obesity Prevalence, Children Aged 2-15, England, 1995-2014

Last reviewed:

Local Cancer Statistics

Find and compare local statistics and information in the UK by healthboard, Local Authority or postcode.

Cancer stats explained

See information and explanations on terminology used for statistics and reporting of cancer, and the methods used to calculate some of our statistics.


You are welcome to reuse this Cancer Research UK statistics content for your own work.
Credit us as authors by referencing Cancer Research UK as the primary source. Suggested styles are:

Web content: Cancer Research UK, full URL of the page, Accessed [month] [year].
Publications: Cancer Research UK ([year of publication]), Name of publication, Cancer Research UK.
Graphics (when reused unaltered): Credit: Cancer Research UK.
Graphics (when recreated with differences): Based on a graphic created by Cancer Research UK.

When Cancer Research UK material is used for commercial reasons, we encourage a donation to our life-saving research.
Send a cheque payable to Cancer Research UK to: Cancer Research UK, Angel Building, 407 St John Street, London, EC1V 4AD or

Donate online

Rate this page:

Currently rated: 2.6 out of 5 based on 9 votes
Thank you!
We've recently made some changes to the site, tell us what you think

Share this page