Facts about the UK's growing obesity crisis

The United Kingdom is facing a growing obesity crisis. Credit: PA

This week, ITV News is looking at obesity levels across the nation as figures reveal that the UK is the second most obese country in Europe.


  • 19.1% of children in Year 6 (aged 10-11) are obese and a further 14.2% are overweight.

  • Of children in Reception (aged 4-5), 9.1% are obese and another 12.8% are overweight.

  • This means a third of 10-11 year-olds and over a fifth of 4-5 year-olds are overweight or obese.

Source: Public Health England

The UK's growing obesity crisis means that by 2030:

Find out if you are a healthy weight with this NHS calculator


The treatment of diabetes is very expensive for the NHS.
  • The cost of diabetes to the NHS is over £1.5m an hour or 10% of the NHS budget for England and Wales.

  • In total, an estimated £14 billion pounds is spent a year on treating diabetes and its complications, with the cost of treating complications representing the much higher cost.


There is a wide-spread drive to tackle childhood obesity in the UK. Credit: Reuters
  • Obesity prevalence for children living in the most deprived areas is double that of those living in the least deprived areas.

  • The obesity prevalence among reception year children living in the most deprived areas was 12.0 per cent compared with 5.7 per cent among those living in the least deprived areas.

  • In year 6 these figures were 25.0 and 11.5 respectively.

  • The difference in obesity prevalence between children attending schools in the most and least deprived areas has increased over time.

  • In 2014/15, the difference for reception year was 5.5 percentage points compared to 4.6 percentage points in 2007/08.

  • The equivalent figures for year 6 were 12.0 and 8.9 percentage points.

Source: National Child Measurement Programme


  • The South East, South West, East of England and East Midlands had lower obesity prevalence than the national average in both school years.

  • The West Midlands, London and the North East had higher obesity prevalence in both school years.

  • Obesity prevalence varied by local authority. For reception age this ranged from 4.2 percent in Richmond upon Thames to 13.6 per cent in Newham.

  • In year 6, the range was from 10.5 per cent in Richmond upon Thames, to 27.8 percent in Southwark.