Charity Diabetes UK said the Government needs to do more to prevent the problem nationally by pursuing its commitment to slashing childhood obesity rates, while the NHS said the issue is putting “unnecessary strain” on health services.
NHS Digital data reveals that in North Yorkshire there were 13,085 hospital admissions where obesity was the primary or secondary cause in 2018-19.
That was 2,034 in every 100,000 residents – up from the previous year’s figure of 1,492. Three years earlier, the rate was 1,173.
Data also shows that women accounted for 7,885 (60%) of North Yorkshire’s obesity-related hospital admissions in 2018-19.
There was huge disparity in rates across England, with the most deprived areas worse affected than those with low deprivation levels.
Yorkshire and The Humber was the fourth-worst affected of the country’s nine regions, with a rate of 1,719 per 100,000 population.
Helen Kirrane, head of policy, campaigns and mobilisation at Diabetes UK, said the rise means more people are getting access to the treatment they need.
A review into how obesity, alongside other factors including ethnicity and gender, affect a person’s vulnerability to the coronavirus has been announced by Public Health England. PHE said the review will provide insight into emerging evidence the virus is having a disproportionate effect on different groups.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the “extremely important and hugely complex task” is part of a continued effort to reduce health inequalities across the country.
An NHS spokesperson said: “With a 20% increase in hospital admissions over the last five years directly linked to obesity, it is clear that obesity is causing diseases including cancer, heart attacks, stroke and type 2 diabetes, while putting unnecessary strain on NHS services.
“The NHS is playing its part through our long-term plan, but other industries must also step up and prevent the harm obesity is causing, particularly to young people.”