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5 Jul 2005 : Column 356W—continued


David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the numbers of obese (a) adults and (b) children in (i) East Yorkshire and (ii) England; and how these figures compare with levels of obesity in other developed countries. [3659]

Caroline Flint [holding answer 13 June 2005]: The prevention and management of obesity are at the heart of many of the Government's priority areas and the foundation for all future work to tackle obesity has been laid out in the White Paper, Choosing Health".

Information is not available in exactly the form requested. Figures from the Health Survey for England are shown in table 1.
1: Obesity prevalence in England

Adults(25) classed as obese as a proportion of the total sampleNorth and East Yorkshire and North East Lincolnshire strategic health authority England
Men (percentage)25.222.9
Women (percentage)27.123.4
Number of adults surveyed

Children(26) classed as obese as a proportion of the total sampleYorkshire and the Humber Government office region England
Boys (percentage)12.316.0
Girls (percentage)12.515.9
Number of children surveyed

(25)Aged 16 and over with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30.
(26)Aged 2–15 with a valid BMI measurement. United Kingdom national BMI percentile classification used to classify obesity in children.
Figures for adults are weighted to reduce bias from non-response to the survey.
Health Survey for England 2000–02 and 2003

Figures from other developed countries are shown in table 2.
2: Obesity—percentage of adult population with a BMI greater than 30 kilogram/square metre

Australia8.3 c10.8-(27)c21.7-(27)c21.7-(28)c21.7-(29)c
Belgium11.7 (27)11.711.7-(27)11.7-(28)
Canada14.1-(27)13.9 b13.9-(27)b14.3
Czech Republic11.2(29)14.2-(27)14.8(27)14.814.8-(27)
Germany11.5-(27)11.5-(28)12.9 (27)12.9
Greece21.9(29)21.9(28)21.9 (27)21.9
Hungary18.218.2-(27)18.8 (27)18.8
Iceland7.512.4 (28)12.4 (27)12.412.4-(27)
Korea3.2 (27)3.23.2-(27)3.2-(28)
New Zealand11.1-(27)17.0-(29)20.9(28)8.320.9
Slovak Republic18.9(29)16.2-(28)22.4(27)22.422.4-(27)
Switzerland5.4(28)7.7 (28)7.7 (27)7.77.7-(27)
Turkey12.0(29)12.0(28)12.0 (27)12
United Kingdom7.0 c14.0 (27)c21.0 c22.0 c22.0 c23.0 c
United States15.0-(28)c23.3 (27)c30.5 c30.5-(27)c30.6 c30.6-(27)c

(a) -1, -2, -3, 1, 2, 3shows that data refers to 1, 2 or 3 previous or following year(s).
(b) Obesity rates are defined as the percentage of the population with a BMI over 30. The BMI is a single number that evaluates an individual's weight status in relation to height (weight/height(27) , with weight in kilograms and height in metres).
(c) For Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, figures are based on health examinations, rather than self-reported information. Obesity estimates derived from health examinations are generally higher and more reliable than those coming from self-reports, because they preclude any misreporting of people's height and weight. However, health examinations are only conducted regularly in a few countries.
Definitions, sources and methods per country are available at
OECD Health data 2005, June 2005

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Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in the United Kingdom are obese; and what estimate has been made of the number of people who died as a result of obesity in each of the last five years. [3898]

Caroline Flint: The available information is given in the table. Although figures are requested for the United Kingdom, information in respect of obesity prevalence in Scotland and Wales is the responsibility of the devolved administrations. While the institutions in Northern Ireland are dissolved, responsibility rests with Ministers in the Northern Ireland office.

Obesity prevalence figures are taken from the results of the health survey for England for 2003, the latest year for which figures are available.
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Obesity prevalence in England

Adults classed as obese as a proportion of the total sample (percentage)22.6
Number of adults surveyed(28)13,089
Children classed as obese as a proportion of the total sample (percentage)16.6
Number of children surveyed(29)2854

(28)Aged 16 and over with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30.
(29)Aged 2–15 with a valid BMI measurement UK National BMI percentile classification used to classify obesity in children.
Adult figures are weighted to reduce bias arising from non-response to the survey.
Health survey for England 2003

With regard to how many obese people died in each of those years, whether a person was obese is not routinely recorded at death certification. However, data on deaths where the underlying cause was certified as obesity or where this condition contributed to the death are collected. The table shows the number of deaths in England and Wales where obesity was the underlying cause of death and where obesity contributed to the death, for the calendar years 1999 to 2003.
Number of deaths where obesity (ICD-9 278.0; ICD-10 E66) was the underlying cause of death or contributed to the death,England and Wales, 1999–2003

Underlying cause165161183182219
Contributed to death597626695732885
Total number of deaths from all causes556,118535,664530,373533,527538,254

Data are for occurrences of death per calendar year.
Office for National Statistics

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