The publication of NHS Digital’s obesity statistics highlights the enormous scale of the problem we face with an increase of 18% in obesity-related hospital admissions in the last year.
In the North East, Northumberland had among the highest level of obesity-related hospital admissions per population, with 4,454 admissions between 2016/17.
This highlights the need for a more comprehensive approach to tackling obesity and promoting healthy diets in the area.
The recent introduction of the soft drinks levy is a long-overdue step in reducing the prevalence of obesity.
With over a quarter of adults and one in five Year 6 students being obese, we must, however, go further with similar restrictions on the marketing and promotion of unhealthy food and drinks to reduce the prevalence of obesity.
As is often the case, prevention is the best solution but efforts to tackle obesity are being undermined by cuts to public health services, which have included cuts to children’s and adult obesity services.
This a national health crisis and one that will not go away until the necessary further steps are taken.
Dr George Rae,
Regional council chair,
BMA North East