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26/11/13 09:30

Obesity Indicators 2013

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Scotland’s Chief Statistician today announced the publication of indicators to monitor progress on the prevention of obesity route map.

The publication reports the latest figures for 16 obesity indicators, selected to monitor progress of the Scottish Government’s Prevention of Obesity Route Map. This is the fourth time the indicators have been published.

The data for most have been updated to include 2012, although some are more or less recent than this. The majority of the data presented have already been published in other sources such as the Scottish Health Survey.

  • Main Findings (data for 2012 unless stated otherwise):
  • 27.1% of adults (aged 16+) were obese, while 64.3% were overweight (including obese).
  • Between 1995 and 2012, the proportion of adults (16-64) who were overweight or obese increased from 52.4% to 61.9%. Over the same period, the prevalence of obesity increased from 17.2% to 26.1%. Figures have been broadly stable since 2008.
  • 16.8% of children were at risk of obesity, with a further 13.8% at risk of overweight. There has been a slight increase in the prevalence of children at risk of overweight (including obesity) since 1998, from 29.1% to 30.6%.
  • Prevalence of type 2 diabetes is still increasing. At the end of 2012 there were 258,570 people diagnosed with diabetes, 4.9% of the population (88.2% of all cases were type 2 diabetes).
  • The latest available data (2011 for adults, 2010 for children) for the intake of saturated fat and added sugar as a percentage of food energy show that rates are between 3 and 6 percentage points higher than recommended levels.
  • 62% of adults aged 16 and over met the current physical activity guideline. There has been no significant change since 2008 in the proportion of adults meeting the latest or previous guideline.
  • Significantly more boys (73%) than girls (68%) met the child physical activity recommendations (including school based activity), with the difference particularly pronounced in early teenage years.
  • Sedentary leisure time for adults, based on mean hours spent sitting, was broadly similar for both men and women- around 5 to 6 hours- but varied by age group.
  • The percentage of adults and children sitting for four or more hours at a screen or similar display (outside of work or school) decreased slightly from 2010.
  • There is evidence of a decrease in the volume of regular soft drinks sales since 2010.
  • In 2011, 50% of adults had either tried to improve their diet, or already had a healthy diet.
  • There has been little change over the last decade in the proportion of adults (16%) and children (52%) engaging in active travel to work and school respectively.

Notes to editors

The full statistical publication and web tables can be accessed at:

Further information on Health and Community Care statistics within Scotland can be accessed at:

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of Official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: