Obesity can have significant implications for health, social care, the economy and educational attainment. Obesity increases the risk of developing other serious diseases, including heart disease, diabetes and cancers.
Estimates suggest 21.8% of adults in Warwickshire are classed as obese, which equates to approximately 98,600 adults with a BMI ≥ 30kg/m2. A further 43.0% of adults are estimated to be overweight, meaning that almost 2 out of 3 adults are carrying excess weight in Warwickshire.
In 2013/14, 41,793 adults in the county featured on GP registers for obesity, which makes up 8.8% of the total GP Registered population, aged 16+3. This highlights a considerable difference between the estimated number of obese adults and those with a formal diagnosis of obesity. 59.1% of adults in Warwickshire are physically active, compared to 26.2% who are physically inactive.
In Warwickshire, about one in 12 reception aged children and around one in six of children in year 6 are obese. The prevalence of obesity across England has increased markedly over the past 20 years. The number of finished hospital admission episodes (in an inpatient setting) with a primary or secondary diagnosis of obesity has risen rapidly since 2003/04.
The percentage of adults in Warwickshire with excess weight, 64.8%, is slightly higher than the England average and slightly lower than the West Midlands average.
Warwickshire has a significantly lower percentage of obese children in both reception and year 6, than the England average.
The percentage of adults in Warwickshire who are physically active, 59%, is higher than the England average, yet lower than some neighbouring authorities.
Interventions based in schools have been found to be effective in reducing obesity levels. Running programmes for longer periods of time has been found to improve effectiveness.
Nutritional education and the promotion of physical activity, together with behaviour changes, decrease in sedentary activities and collaboration of the family may be important factors in the prevention of childhood obesity.
Evidence suggests that effective policies in reducing childhood obesity have short-term health benefits, such as reducing risk of Type 2 diabetes. Longer term health benefits include the reduction of childhood obesity progressing into adulthood.
Evidence suggests a strong link between obesity levels and deprivation: there is a higher prevalence of obesity in young children from deprived households than affluent households.
There is a higher prevalence of obesity in adults with low qualifications, compared to adults with higher qualifications.
In Warwickshire, there is a clear geographical trend in the proportion of year six children who are either overweight or obese, ranging from 37% in North Warwickshire Borough to 29% in Warwick District.