Anne Milton (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Public Health), Health; Guildford, Conservative)
During the period 1997-98 and 2010-11 there has been an increase in the number of finished admission episodes (FAE) with a primary diagnosis of obesity. This increase may have been for a number of reasons, including:
a significant improvement in data quality, coverage and coding of obesity-related admissions over this time period;
publication of guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence on obesity, which may have raised clinical awareness and led to a change in practice;
the increase in the prevalence of obesity;
a substantial increase in the number of hospital admissions associated with bariatric surgery since 2000-01; and
the shift in the distribution of Body Mass Index (BMI) across the population over this period, which has resulted in an increase in the number of morbidly obese individuals (BMI >=40kg/m(2)). Such individuals are more likely to require hospital bariatric services which may result in multiple admissions, so that one patient may result in a number of FAE counts in one year.