More than 4,000 obesity-related hospital admissions in Sheffield

The scale of Sheffield's weight problem is laid bare by new figures revealing the number of obesity-related hospital admissions.

Monday, 9th April 2018, 4:38 pm
Updated Monday, 9th April 2018, 5:11 pm
Many more women than men were admitted to hospitals in Sheffield with conditions related to obesity, the new figures show

Obesity was a factor on 4,140 occasions when people were admitted to the city's hospitals during 2016/17, statistics published by NHS Digital show.

That equates to 752 admissions per 100,000 people where there was a primary or secondary diagnosis of obesity, though obesity was recorded as the main cause in only 109 of those cases - a rate of 20 per 100,000.

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Primary diagnoses are those requiring weight-loss treatment, while secondary ones involve treatment for related conditions like hip problems and heart attacks.

Women accounted for 3,038 of obesity-related admissions in Sheffield - around three quarters of the total - and 74 of the 109 where obesity was the primary diagnosis.

The rate of admissions linked to obesity in Sheffield was well below the England-wide average of 1,159 per 100,000 population.

Of those admitted to Sheffield's hospitals with a primary diagnosis of obesity, 62 required bariatric surgery - the name given to procedures like stomach stapling and gastric bypasses which can be used to facilitate weight loss.

There were 7,386 prescriptions recorded by NHS Sheffield to treat obesity during the same period - a rate of 13 per 1,000, which was nearly twice the national average of seven per 1,000.

Nationally, there were 617,000 obesity-related appointments during 2016/17 - an 18 per cent increase on the previous year and more than double the 292,000 recorded in 2012/13.

Kath Sharman, managing director of the not-for-profit SHINE Health Academy, which helps young people battling weight problems, said the reason so many more women were admitted than men may be down to greater self-awareness.

She said men tend to be less self-conscious and less aware of the health risks connected with obesity, so may be less likely to seek treatment.

She urged men and women to check their waist size regularly to ensure they are not at risk of developing conditions like high cholesterol, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes - the symptoms of which often only become apparent once they are well established.

NHS Digital's report on obesity, physical activity and diet, published last Wednesday, also revealed that 26 per cent of adults in England were classified as obese in 2016 - up from 15 per cent in 1993, though little-changed since 2010.

It showed that 26 per cent of adults and 16 per cent of children ate the recommended quantity of five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day in 2016.

And it revealed that 21 per cent of men and 25 per cent of women were classed as inactive that year.