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THE FAT EPIDEMIC; NHS obesity cases rise 60 per cent in last year.

Byline: EMILY COOK

HOSPITALS saw a hefty rise in the number of people admitted for obesity last year.

The increase in just 12 months was 60% - and the number has shot up nearly NINE times in 10 years.

The NHS Information Centre, which released the figures, said: "The report highlights the impact of obesity on society and the NHS." The National Obesity Forum warned: "The cost could cripple the NHS unless we do something serious about prevention."

The report said there were 5,020 admissions in 2007-08 in England with a primary diagnosis of obesity. This rose 60% to 7,990 in 2008/09.

It is more than eight times higher than the 950 recorded in 1998/9. There was also a dramatic rise in the number having surgery on the NHS to beat obesity - such as stomach stapling or gastric bands.

Figures more than doubled between 2006/07 and 2008/09, from 1,950 procedures to 4,220.

The report does not include the number of private operations.

There were also 1.28 million prescriptions for obesity drugs in 2008 - a figure 10 times that of 1999's 127,000.

The Department of Health said: "We are investing in preventing obesity in the first place."

School tots eat better

RECORD numbers of primary pupils are now getting healthier food at school, a survey reveals today.

Nearly 75% eat veg and salad for lunch, compared with 59 per cent in 2005, says the School Food Trust.

Its poll of 6,696 pupils in 136 primaries - after new Government-set nutrition rules - found more fruit, milk and yoghurt was on offer last year, while levels of salt, fat and sugar fell.

The trust said: "It's the first time we've measured the standards' impact and the progress delighted us."

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 11, 2010
Words:303
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