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Excess weight

Obesity is a leading cause of ill health; an independent risk factor for cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease and stroke, as well as increasing the likelihood of developing other risk factors such as hypertension (high blood pressure) and type II diabetes.

For more information about obesity in Herefordshire, download the most recent Overview of Obesity in Herefordshire report from the resource box below.

Obesity is commonly measured using weight and height to give a Body Mass Index (BMI) metric. Poor diet (containing a high proportion of foods high in fat, sugars and salt) and lack of exercise can lead to obesity, which in turn is a risk factor for non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer.

In England, child BMI is measured at Reception Year (age 4-5 years) and Year 6 (aged 10-11 years) through the mandatory National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP). For the majority of children excess weight gain is the result of eating more calories than needed and/or undertaking too little physical activity to match calorie intake, or a combination of both.

In 2016/17, data from the NCMP indicate that 9.8 per cent of reception year children in Herefordshire were obese, while the combined proportion of obese and overweight was 22.9 per cent.  For year 6 children, the prevalence of obesity was 19.2 per cent, while the combined figure for obese and overweight children was 34.8 per cent. For both age groups there were no significant differences between the local and national figures.

In 2015-16, 63.2 per cent of adults in Herefordshire were estimated to be overweight or obese, similar to the national figure of 61.3 per cent and the West Midlands region figure of 63.9 per cent. Comparison with GP records indicates that it is highly probable that obesity prevalence is under-recorded.

In 2016/17, according to Quality and Outcomes Framework data, approximately 15,000 adults registered with a Herefordshire general practitioner (GP) practice were recorded as obese, which represents 9.9 per cent of all patients aged 18 years and over. Across Herefordshire GP practices the prevalence of obesity ranged between 6.0 and 14.9 per cent, while the highest locality prevalence (10.6 per cent) was recorded in North and West and the lowest (8.8 per cent) in South and West.

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Related resources

Detailed information about the prevalence of obesity in adults and children in Herefordshire, physical activity and fruit and vegetable consumption.


Last updated: Friday, April 27, 2018