Published

## 1. Main facts and figures

• in the year to November 2021, 63.5% of adults (people aged 18 and over) were overweight or living with obesity – up from 62.8% the previous year
• 72.0% of adults from black ethnic groups were overweight or living with obesity – the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups
• 37.5% of adults from the Chinese ethnic group were overweight or living with obesity – the lowest percentage out of all ethnic groups
• compared with the year ending November 2016, the percentage of adults who were overweight or living with obesity went up in the white British ethnic group (from 62.1% to 64.5%), mixed ethnic group (from 53.9% to 59.5%) and 'other' ethnic group (from 58.9% to 66.2%)
• the percentages were broadly similar to those from the year ending November 2016 for all other ethnic groups

## 2. Things you need to know

### What the data measures

The data shows the percentage of adults (people aged 18 and older) in England who were overweight or living with obesity, by ethnicity.

People were asked for their height and weight. These figures were used to determine their body mass index (BMI). This indicates if a person is overweight or living with obesity.

A BMI of:

• 25 or more is classed as overweight
• 30 or more is classed as living with obesity

Percentages are rounded to 1 decimal point.

### Not included in the data

16 and 17 year olds have been removed from this analysis to be consistent with the NHS healthy weight calculator.

### How BMI is calculated

The metric formula for working out someone’s BMI is their weight in kilograms divided by their height in metres squared.

### The ethnic groups used in the data

Estimates are shown for 7 ethnic groups:

• Asian
• black
• Chinese
• mixed
• white British
• white ‘other’
• 'other'

### Methodology

Read the detailed methodology document for this data.

People often underestimate their weight and overestimate their height. This means their self-reported body mass index (BMI) is known to be lower than it actually is. The data adjusts for this bias by using a formula based on observations from the Health Survey for England over several years, which included both self-reported and clinically-measured BMI figures.

## 3. By ethnicity over time

 2015/16 % 2015/16 Number of respondents 2016/17 % 2016/17 Number of respondents 2017/18 % 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21 Ethnicity 61.4 170,273 61.5 166,213 62.0 151,677 62.1 153,837 62.8 149,476 63.5 148,763 57.7 6,018 56.4 6,142 56.8 4,890 56.6 5,349 60.0 5,781 57.0 6,050 73.6 1,998 69.1 1,987 72.6 1,654 74.0 1,664 68.6 1,730 72.0 1,833 36.8 857 32.7 873 33.4 741 35.4 804 31.2 837 37.5 1,004 53.9 1,529 59.4 1,616 58.1 1,568 57.6 1,695 59.5 1,755 59.5 1,858 62.1 146,869 62.4 142,038 62.9 129,957 62.9 131,724 63.6 127,113 64.5 126,053 57.1 8,610 56.9 8,678 57.6 8,340 57.5 8,304 57.7 8,281 57.9 8,633 58.9 1,191 60.3 1,084 59.1 972 53.1 1,028 61.4 1,118 66.2 1,150 N/A* 3,201 N/A* 3,795 N/A* 3,555 N/A* 3,269 N/A* 2,861 N/A* 2,182

### Summary of Overweight adults By ethnicity over time Summary

The data shows that:

• in the year to November 2021, 63.5% of adults in England were overweight or living with obesity
• 72.0% of adults from black ethnic groups were overweight or living with obesity – the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups
• 37.5% of adults from the Chinese ethnic group were overweight or living with obesity – the lowest percentage out of all ethnic groups
• white British adults were more likely than average to be overweight or living with obesity (64.5%)
• the percentage of adults who were overweight or living with obesity was lower than average in the Asian (57.0%), white ‘other’ (57.9%) and mixed (59.5%) ethnic groups
• the percentage of adults in the 'other' ethnic group who were overweight or living with obesity (66.2%) was similar to the national average
• compared with the year ending November 2016, the percentage of adults who were overweight or living with obesity went up in the white British ethnic group (from 62.1% to 64.5%), mixed ethnic group (from 53.9% to 59.5%) and 'other' ethnic group (from 58.9% to 66.2%)
• the percentages were broadly similar to those from the year ending November 2016 for all other ethnic groups
• NICE recommend lower BMI thresholds for assessing cardiometabolic risk for people with a South Asian, Chinese, other Asian, Middle Eastern, black African or African-Caribbean family background

## 4. Data sources

Survey data

### Type of statistic

Official statistics

Sport England

### Note on corrections or updates

Data is published twice a year. It uses survey responses collected in the 12 months to May, and the 12 months to November each year. The figures on this page are based on the data collected in the 12 months to November.

Twice a year

### Purpose of data source

The Active Lives Survey measures the number of people aged 16 and over who take part in sport and physical activity.

This data informs the government’s strategy on physical activity, Sporting Future, which looks at 5 aspects of physical activity:

• physical well-being
• mental well-being
• individual development
• social and community development
• economic development

### Type of statistic

Official statistics

### Publisher

Office for Health Improvement and Disparities

Quarterly

### Purpose of data source

These outcomes reflect the focus on how long people live, their life expectancy, and also on how well they live, and their healthy life expectancy. The focus of the data is also on reducing these differences between people and communities from different backgrounds.