Figures show record number of Redbridge residents going to hospital with obesity-related conditions
PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 May 2019
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People are going to hospital with obesity-related conditions at record rates in Redbridge, figures show.
In the 12 months to March 2018, the rate was 944 people treated for obesity as a primary or secondary diagnosis for every 100,000 residents, according to the latest NHS data.
That's up on the previous 12 months when it was 780, and higher than all comparable figures back to 2013.
A government minister said the figures highlight the "devastating consequences" of the condition for patients and the NHS.
In 2017-18, 2,435 patients were treated, and 68 per cent were women. For 50 of those admitted to hospital, obesity was the primary cause.
The national figures show the most common conditions where obesity is listed as the secondary cause of time in hospital are joint problems such as arthritis, or health issues in pregnancy where the woman was obese.
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Across England the number of obesity-related admissions has jumped by 15 per cent. In 2017-18, there were about 711,000, up from 617,000 the year before.
A spokesman for Redbridge Council said: "Keeping our residents healthy is a priority for the council which is why as part of the local plan adopted in March 2018, we included a policy which resists proposals for takeaways within 400 metres of the boundary of an existing school, youth centre or park and subsequently we have refused a number of applications for takeaways.
"It's important we help local businesses thrive whilst promoting healthy eating and that's why we are working closely with fast food companies to encourage them to sign up to the healthy catering commitment which aims to reduce the level of saturated fat and salt content in their foods, offer healthier food and drink options and make smaller portions for customers on request.
"Additionally, working with our leisure partner Vision we have a dedicated officer working with schools to help reduce childhood obesity, the Active Stars initiative for children, and a new weight management programme for adults."
Public health minister Seema Kennedy said: "This data shines a light on the devastating consequences of obesity - both for individuals and for the NHS.
"Prevention is always better than a cure and we are already taking action to protect the health of our next generation, with plans to reduce children's exposure to sugary and fatty foods and get them moving more in school each day.
"I am committed to reversing these worrying trends and we will be exploring other solutions through our prevention green paper later this year."