The County You Live, Work And Play

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Obese Adult Population


19/09/16




























A third of adults in Lanarkshire are obese according to new government statistics.

The Scottish Health Survey looked at the health of the nation and released its findings.

It revealed 33 per cent of Lanarkshire men and women aged over 16 are obese – above the Scottish average of 28 per cent.

Obese is determined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or over. The NHS say BMI isn’t used to definitively diagnose obesity, because people who are very muscular sometimes have a high BMI without excess fat. But for most people, BMI is a useful indication of whether they’re a healthy weight, overweight or obese.

And the NHS also say obesity is a common problem across the UK, and is estimated to affect around one in every four adults.


The latest figures show that 31 per cent of Lanarkshire men are obese, compared to 34 per cent of women. Across Scotland, the only health board areas with more obese adults are Shetland (34 per cent), Orkney and the Western Isles (both 36 per cent). The figure in Greater Glasgow and Clyde is 25 per cent, while Lothian is the least obese at 23 per cent.

The statistics also look at people who are either overweight or obese – those with a BMI of 25 or more. And again, Lanarkshire has one of the most overweight populations in Scotland.

The report revealed 70 per cent of all adults are either overweight or obese.


Lanarkshire women are in better shape than the men – as 67 per cent of adult females are either overweight or obese compared to 74 per cent of males. Out of the country’s 13 health board areas, only Orkney (71 per cent) and the Western Isles (73 per cent) fared worse.

The average figure for Scotland was 65 per cent – with Lothian on 59 per cent and Greater Glasgow Clyde on 62 per cent.

The Scottish Health Survey also looked at a number of other factors.

It shows that 12 per cent of Lanarkshire adults have no daily portions of fruit and vegetables in their diets – with 71 per cent having less than the recommended five portions. Only 17 per cent had more than five portions, the second-lowest amount in Scotland. The Scottish average for having five portions was 21 per cent.

The figures show 62 per cent of Lanarkshire adults meet the physical activity guidelines, the joint second-lowest amount in Scotland. The Scottish average is 63 per cent. Another 12 per cent of Lanarkshire adults have some activity, four per cent have low activity and 22 per cent have very low activity.

The Lanarkshire proportion of individuals reporting a doctor-diagnosed cardiovascular condition was the same as the Scottish average of 16 per cent.


Across Lanarkshire, the mean number of alcohol units consumed weekly was lower than the Scottish average of 12.7. The Lanarkshire figure was 12.4.

However, Lanarkshire men consumed nearly double the units of women – 16.5 compared to 8.4.

The figures show that across Lanarkshire, 22 per cent of adults are regular smokers, 24 per cent are ex-regular or occasional smokers and 54 per cent are either ex-occasional or have never smoked. All three are the same as the Scottish average.

And 54 per cent of Lanarkshire adults have no long-term illnesses, the same as the Scottish average. Another 15 per cent have a ‘non-limiting lon-term’ illness and 31 per cent have a ‘limiting long-term’ illness.