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Obesity related deaths on the rise

22nd February 2010

Researchers from the University of Oxford have said there has been a 'dramatic increase' in obesity as a contributing factor to deaths in England.

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The team, who published their work in the European Journal of Public Health, looked at death certificates in England. They saw a 'year-on-year increase' where obesity was one of the causes of, or played in role in causing, death between 2000 and 2006.

Government data showed there were 757 obesity related deaths in 2009, in comparison to 358 in 2000.

Around 25% of the adult population in England are obese and it is estimated that obesity costs the health service over £3 billion every year.

The government in Scotland also issued a warning that 40% of the Scottish population could be obese by 2030.

The Oxford researchers said mentions of obesity on death certificates for men rose by an annual average of 8% and for women by 4%.

They added that many cases where obesity played a role were probably not recorded on the death certificate.

Study leader Professor Michael Goldacre said: "We know for example obesity contributes to heart disease but if someone dies of heart disease you don't necessarily expect doctors to note if they were obese. But this shows doctors are increasingly recognising obesity as a cause of death."

He added: "One of the key messages is you can't rely on underlying causes alone - if you don't look at other causes you cannot see what is contributing to disease."

 

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Article Information

Title: Obesity related deaths on the rise
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 14142
Date Added: 22nd Feb 2010

Sources

BBC News

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