Keep fit avoidance shock

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One in four adults gets less than 30 minutes of exercise a week, with women more likely to be inactive, a new report shows.

NHS Digital’s annual review of obesity in England also found high levels of obesity among adults and children, with only around a quarter of adults eating the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

Some 26 per cent of all adults were classified as inactive (fewer than 30 minutes of physical activity a week), with women more likely to be inactive (27 per cent) than men (24).

People who are long-term jobless or have never worked are most likely not to take exercise (37 per cent), compared to 17 per cent of those in professional and managerial jobs. In 2015, 58 per cent of women and 68 per cent of men were overweight or obese. Obesity has risen from 15 per cent of adults in 1993 to 27 per cent in 2015.

Meanwhile, the prevalence of morbid obesity has more than tripled since 1993, to reach two per cent of men and four per cent of women in 2015.

The report also showed high numbers of children overweight, with more than one in five children in Reception class being overweight or obese in 2015/16, and more than one in three in Year 6.

This week Public Health England published new voluntary targets for the food industry to reduce sugar levels by 20 per cent by 2020 in nine categories of food popular with children.

The NHS Digital report found only 26 per cent of adults ate the recommended five portions a day in 2015. Some 47 per cent of men, and 42 per cent of women ate fewer than three portions a day. But 52 per cent of 15-year-olds said they hit the recommended five a day.

The data also showed there were 525,000 hospital admissions in England in 2015/16 where obesity was recorded as a factor. Two in three patients were female.