European health study shows more than half the UK population is overweight

Data shows 57% of men and 51% of women are overweight, obese or morbidly obese according to their body mass index

More than half the UK population are classed as overweight, according to data from the 2013/2014 European Health Interview Survey. 

The information, which was analysed by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), showed that 57.6% of men and 51.2% of women had a body mass index of greater than 25, classifying them in the overweight, obese or morbidly obese categories. 

One in five respondents were classed as obese or morbidly obese with 17.5% of men categorised as obese and 1.7% morbidly obese. For women, 17.3% were classed as obese and 2.5% as morbidly obese. 

ONS principal researcher Chris White said: ‘Some people classed as overweight may have a high muscle mass so although they are technically overweight they are actually quite healthy.

'However, it is very worrying that a fifth of men and women are obese as this puts them at risk of further health complications such as diabetes and heart disease.’

Three-quarters of the UK population reported being in good health but nearly half said they had a long-standing illness.

The five most common chronic conditions in the UK for men and women were allergy, hypertension, lower back disorder, asthma and depression.

More information

See our CPD article: Obesity: prevalence, causes and clinical consequences by Alison Shepherd


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