Prevalence of obesity in Great Britain


KL Rennie, MRC Human Nutrition Research, Elsie Widdowson laboratory, Fulbourn Road, Cambridge, CB2 9NL, UK. E-mail:


Since 1980 the prevalence of obesity in Great Britain in adults has almost trebled. Latest figures show that 23% of men and 25% of women were obese in 2002. In children, obesity prevalence is lower but the increase in the prevalence of overweight is similar to the rise in obesity in adults. Data from national surveys also show that there are marked differences in the prevalence of obesity that underpin health inequalities. Obesity is higher in low social classes, some ethnic minority groups particularly from South Asia and in Scotland and Wales relative to England.