Adult Obesity

Key findings (Published April 2017)

Key findings
  • Estimates based upon the Health Survey for England data suggest the number of obese adults in Wirral is around 68,000-70,000 people

  • The number of people who are either overweight or obese is 164,000 (more than half of the Wirral population). This means that 2 in every 3 adults are of an unhealthy weight in Wirral
    Obesity is more prevalent amongst women compared to men 

  • Overweight is more prevalent amongst men compared to women

  • Obesity and overweight are both more prevalent in areas of deprivation. This trend is particularly marked in women, where the social class gradient results in higher levels of obesity (compared to men) 

  • Four out of five (80%) of obese children go on to become obese adults

  • Definitive data on obesity in both Wirral and nationally is lacking

  • Current levels of overweight and obesity are likely to have serious consequences with potential increases in prevalence of diabetes, CVD, some cancers and musculoskeletal conditions etc. which will be extremely costly if not tackled

  • Evidence supports prevention as the most cost-effective strategy as obesity is very rarely reversed. Overweight and obesity are now so common, population level action is required

Most recent reports

Obesity (Adults) (April 2017)

Further information
  • Sugar reduction: report on progress between 2015 and 2019 (October 2020)
    This Public Health England report includes a detailed assessment of progress by the food industry, between 2015 and 2019, towards meeting the 20 per cent reduction ambition by 2020 for the sugar reduction programme. It also includes the first assessment of industry progress towards the sugar reduction ambition for juice and milk based drinks and assesses progress made by retailers and manufacturers and in the eating out of home sector.

  • Excess weight and COVID-19 (July 2020)
    This report brings together findings from UK and international studies published during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It offers information about excess weight and its association with COVID-19. The report suggests that being severely overweight puts people at greater risk of hospitalisation, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) admission and death from COVID-19, with risk growing substantially as body mass index (BMI) increases. The current evidence does not suggest that having excess weight increases people’s chances of contracting COVID-19. However, the data does show that obese people are significantly more likely to become seriously ill and be admitted to intensive care with COVID-19 compared to those with a healthy BMI. Policy paper fro DHSC (July 2020)

  • Patterns and trends in adult obesity: national data (February 2020) 
    These PowerPoint slides present important data and information on adult obesity in clear, easy to understand charts and graphics. They have been produced by the Population Health Analysis team in the Health Improvement Directorate and can be used freely with acknowledgement to ‘Public Health England’.

  • Parliamentary Briefing on Obesity (January 2017)
    This briefing gives statistics on obesity for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland with international comparisons.

  • Carbohydrates and health (July 2015)
    This report of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition provides clarification of the relationship between dietary carbohydrates and health. It reviews evidence for the role of dietary carbohydrate in colorectal health, cardio-metabolic health and oral health and makes public health recommendations. 
  • Why 5%? (Public Health England, July 2015) 
    This is an explanation of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition’s recommendations about sugars and health (see above), in the context of current intakes of free sugars, other dietary recommendations and the changes in dietary habits needed to reduce consumption of free sugars to 5% of dietary energy. 

  • The relationship between obesity and diabetes
    This PHE report provides an overview of obesity and type 2 diabetes among adults: describing the epidemiology of each disorder, how the two conditions are linked and why they present a major public health challenge. The report also contains new analysis showing that adults with large waist circumferences are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. 

  • Obesity and fitness: The relation between obesity, cardio-respiratory fitness and mortality (October 2014)
    The study was designed to evaluate cardio respiratory fitness in terms of VO2 max in young healthy males and to correlate between obesity and cardio respiratory fitness.

  • BMI healthy weight calculator - NHS Choices website