Almost 30% of population in England now obese, adding to pressure on NHS through related diseases.
A report from Diabetes UK found the figure has jumped from 6.9 million people in 1997 to around 13 million in 2017 – the most recent data available.
Obesity is a major driver of Type 2 diabetes, which can lead to a range of serious health complications including heart and blood vessel disease, nerve and kidney damage, slow healing of wounds and sight loss.
It is thought that 80 to 85% of a person’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes is down to being overweight.
Diabetes UK says more than half of all cases of Type 2 diabetes could be prevented or delayed if the nation’s obesity problems were tackled.
The data for the report was taken from the Health Survey for England, which found that in 2017, the majority of adults (64%) in England were overweight or obese.
Some 40% of men where overweight while a further 27% were obese.
Meanwhile, 31% of women were overweight and a further 30% were obese.