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‘Thousands’ take weight loss pills


Tens of thousands more people are taking weight-loss pills on prescription, a report from the NHS Information Centre has revealed.

There were 1.45 million prescription items dispensed for treatment of obesity in 2009, more than 11 times the number of 10 years earlier (127,000) and an increase on the 1.28 million in 2008.

Obesity case admissions in hospitals rose more than 30%, with the condition being the main reason for treatment of 10,571 NHS hospital admissions in 2009/10. The figure is more than 10 times the number in 1999/00 (979).

In 2009/10, the number of bariatric surgery procedures in England reached 7,214, with women accounting for 80% of the total, a 70% rise on the figure for 2008/09 of just over 4,200.

Of the most recent procedures, 1,444 were for maintenance of an existing gastric band and the operation was most common in the East Midlands and London.

There are signs that obesity levels among adults may be stabilising, although it will take a few more years to see if this is a genuine downward trend.

Copyright © Press Association 2011

Department of Health

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