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Last year saw 251,030 hospital admissions from people living in the area where medics recorded them as being obese ‑ approaching 700 per day. When the figures are adjusted for population, the rate at which overweight Midlanders are admitted to hospital is almost double that for the South East.
NHS data reveals there were more than one million admissions to hospital in England last year where doctors recorded a patient’s weight as being a significant health issue.
The worst single health authority was East Staffordshire ‑ between Stoke and Derby ‑ where the rate of obese people being admitted was 5,271 per 100,000.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, Surrey Heath saw obese people admitted to hospital at around a tenth of this rate ‑ with 597 admissions per 100,000 people.
Other Midlands areas with high obesity rates were Mansfield and Ashfield, as well as Corby.
Common issues noted by doctors dealing with obese people were women in pregnancy, heart disease, breast cancer, breakdown of the knee or hip and gallstones.
Tam Fry, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, said: “The Midlands has always been somewhat overshadowed by impoverished regions of the North, but these figures confirm how badly it compares with the affluent South.
“By far the greatest concern is the number of obese women in pregnancy. Not only are they a danger to themselves, but likely to produce children already obese at birth.”
The obesity admission rates per 100,000 population for the seven regions of England were:Midlands ‑ 2,425; North West ‑ 2,120; South West ‑ 1,908; London ‑ 1,889; North East and Yorkshire ‑ 1,825; East of England ‑ 1,533; and the South East ‑ 1,372.
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