Excess weight - Public Health Dorset

Excess weight

Having excess weight or being obese has significant implications for both physical and mental health. It increases the risk of several diseases such as heart disease, Type-II diabetes and some cancers, which in turn increases the likelihood of premature death. Obesity is a key public health issue, as it is widespread nationally, prevalence remains high and it has significant impact on health and social care costs, as well as economic and societal impacts.

Obesity is also an issue in childhood, with 23% of children in reception and 35% of children in Year 6 nationally being overweight. As well as increasing risk of disease, obesity in childhood is linked to poor mental health and sleep. Children who are obese are more likely to be obese in adulthood, with the associated risk of disease and premature mortality.

The causes of obesity are complex, from individuals unhealthy lifestyle and eating choices through to wider issues such as the local environment and food availability. There is not a single effective intervention – a variety are needed to tackle the issue.

Although our local areas are doing better or no worse than national indicators, the figures are still of great concern.

Key statistics

Indicators of excess weight and/or obesity for our region have been drawn from Obesity Profile (PHE).

* indicates a statistically significant difference from the respective English Average.

Excess weight key statistics
Indicator BCP Dorset South West England

Percentage of adults (aged 18+) classified as overweight or obese

62.2 65.9 62* 62.8
Reception - Prevalence of overweight (including obese) 20.2* 21.9 22.7 23
Year 6 - Prevalence of overweight (including obese) 30.7* 31.2* 31.8* 35.2

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