The NHS has published a detailed new report on the state of the nation’s health, warning that the health of millions of people in England is at risk due to obesity, gambling, lack of exercise and eating badly.

The latest official figures are based on the Health Survey for England 2018 and have been released by NHS Digital, which monitors standard health trends in England as well as featuring new data on gambling, asthma and other longstanding conditions.

The survey focused on just over 10,000 adults and children to bring together data on conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, adult and child weight, smoking, drinking and physical activity.

Other information available includes figures on fruit and vegetable consumption, social care for older adults and e-cigarette use.

Some of the key findings of the survey were as follows:

  • More than half of adults (56%) were at increased, high or very high risk of chronic disease due to their waist circumference and BMI.

  • 26% of men and 29% of women were obese. 2% of men and 4% of women were morbidly obese.

  • 27% of adults reported less than 30 minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity per week and were classified as “inactive”.

  • Inactivity levels tended to increase across age groups, especially for men.

  • 40% of adults had participated in some form of gambling activity during the previous 12 months.

  • 15% of men had participated in online gambling in the previous 12 months, compared with 4% of women.

  • 17% of men and 18% of women (aged 16 and over) have been diagnosed with asthma.

The Health Survey for England is commissioned annually by NHS Digital.

Last reviewed 5 December 2019