Overweight and obesity statistics

Excess bodyweight

Cancer cases linked to excess bodyweight, UK

Adults

Adults overweight or obese, UK

Overweight and obesity is associated with increased risk of several cancers, including uterine, kidney, oesophageal, gallbladder, bowel, pancreas and breast cancers.

Incidence of some overweight- and obesity-related cancers including uterine, kidney and bowel cancer is increasing, at least partly due to increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity. Cancer incidence is expected to rise further if current trends in overweight and obesity prevalence persist.[1]

Overweight and obesity are leading risk factors for death in the world.[2] Obesity caused an estimated 6% of deaths in England in 1998;[3] this proportion has likely increased as the prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased.[4] Overweight and obesity causes a (conservatively) estimated 5% of cancer cases in the UK each year.[5]

Last reviewed:

More than 6 in 10 (59-65%) adults in the UK’s constituent countries are overweight or obese by body mass index (BMI) (2015).[1-4] 63-68% of males and 56-62% of females in the UK’s constituent countries are overweight or obese.

Overweight and Obesity Prevalence, Adults Aged 16 and Over, Countries of the UK, 2015-2016

    England (2015) Wales (2015) Scotland (2015) Northern Ireland (2015-2016)
Males Obese 27 23 28 28
Overweight 41 40 39 37
Overweight or obese 68 63 67 65
Females Obese 27 24 30 25
Overweigh 31 32 32 32
Overweight or obese 58 56 62 57
Persons Overweight 27 24 29 26
Obese 36 36 36 34
Overweight or obese 63 59 65 60

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.

References

  1. Health and Social Care Information Centre. Health Survey for England - 2015: Adult trend tables. Accessed October 2016.
  2. The Scottish Government. The Scottish Health Survey 2012: Volume 1, Chapter 8: Obesity. Accessed October 2014.
  3. Welsh Government. Welsh Health Survey: Chapter 5: Health-related Lifestyle. Accessed October 2014.
  4. Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety Northern Ireland. Health Survey Northern Ireland Additional Tables 2011-2012. Accessed October 2014.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2015-2016

Last reviewed:

Prevalence of overweight and obesity among adults in the UK’s constituent countries increases until mid-late adulthood and then decreases slightly in the older adults. However, prevalence of overweight and obesity increases in Scotland in older females and in Northern Ireland (2015).[1-4]

Overweight and Obesity Prevalence, by Age, Countries of the UK

Data for Northern Ireland is for persons only as a sex breakdown is not publicly available. 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.

References

  1. Health and Social Care Information Centre. Health Survey for England - 2015: Adult trend tables. Accessed December 2016.
  2. The Scottish Government. The Scottish Health Survey 2015: Volume 1, Chapter 8: Obesity. Accessed October 2014.
  3. Welsh Government. Welsh Health Survey: Chapter 5: Health-related Lifestyle. Accessed October 2014.
  4. Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety Northern Ireland. Health Survey Northern Ireland Additional Tables 2011-2012. Accessed October 2014.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2015-2016

Last reviewed:

Prevalence of overweight and obesity among adults (aged 16 and over) in England has increased since the early 1990s.[1] Prevalence of overweight and obesity has been higher in males than females throughout this period.

Overweight and Obesity Prevalence, Adults Aged 16 and Over, England, 1993-2015

Overweight and obesity prevalence data are not adjusted for population characteristics including age and ethnicity, which have also changed over time; so comparison over time should be made with caution.

Last reviewed:

Prevalence of overweight and obesity among adults in England is higher in those from lower-income households compared with higher-income households (2015).[1]

Overweight and Obesity Prevalence, by Equivalised Household Income, Adults Aged 16 and Over, England, 2015

Last reviewed:

Prevalence of overweight and obesity varies by ethnic group in England (2004).[1]

Overweight and Obesity Prevalence, by Ethnic Group, Adults Aged 16 and Over, England, 2004

The accuracy of BMI as an indicator of overweight- and obesity-related health outcomes may vary by ethnicity, so comparison between groups should be made with caution.[REF2-6]

References

  1. Health and Social Care Information Centre. Health Survey for England 2004: The Health of Minority Ethnic Groups – headline tables. Accessed October 2014.
  2. Goacher PJ, Lamber R, Moffatt PG. Can weight-related health risk be more accurately assessed by BMI, or by gender specific calculations of Percentage Body Fatness? Med Hypotheses 2012; 79(5):656-62.
  3. Deurenberg P, Deurenberg-Yap M, Guricci S. Asians are different from Caucasians and from each other in their body mass index/ body fat per cent relationship. Obesity Reviews 2002; 3(3):141-146.
  4. Zwierzchowska A, Grabara M, Palica D et al. BMI and BAI as markers of obesity in a Caucasian population. Obes Facts 2013; 6(6):507-511.
  5. Deurenberg-Yap M, Schmidt M, Van Staveren WA, et al. The paradox of low body mass index and high body fat percentage among Chinese, Malays and Indians in Singapore. Int J Obes & Rel Meta Dis 2000;24(8):1011-1018.
  6. National Obesity Observatory. Obesity and ethnicity. Accessed October 2014
Last reviewed:

Worldwide cancer incidence and mortality reflects prevalence of overweight and obesity, among other factors.

Worldwide more than 1.9 billion adults (aged 18 and over) were overweight or obese in 2014.[1] Around a third of these were obese – that’s around 13% of the world’s adult population.[1] Worldwide more than 40 million children (aged under 5) were overweight or obese in 2014.[1]

Overweight and obesity prevalence varies widely around the world. In all high-income and most middle-income countries, overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight. Overweight and obesity kills 3.4 million adults worldwide each year.[2]

Worldwide prevalence of obesity has more than doubled since 1980, with overweight and obesity increasingly particularly in low- and middle-income countries.[1]

References

  1. World Health Organisation. Obesity and overweight. Accessed December 2016.
  2. World Health Organization Western Pacific Region. Obesity. Accessed December 2016.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2014

Last reviewed:

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