I am not a health professional and am a little bit puzzled by this. There appear to be two ranges of obesity prevalence estimates (I am particularly interested in the rate in adults in England):
Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) survey (link), which reports the prevalence of obesity among adults in England at 9.8%. This underpins the reports published by NHS Digital and Public Health England.
There is another set of figures which are in a different league.
- This government website reports the prevalence of obesity at 26.9% in men and 26.8% in women in 2015 in England.
- This is more in line with this 2014 estimate of 19.2% (although this is for the whole of UK, not just England).
- This 2014 WHO report (p. 109) reports 26.9% and 29.2% in men and women, respectively.
- This newspaper article ranks the UK the third most obese country in Europe with the rate of obesity at 27.8%, citing another WHO report.
- The Eurostat reports the 2014 data showing obesity rates in UK adults between 29.0% and 64.0%, depending on age-group; while this Eurostat tool shows the 2014 average for UK adults at 20.1%, which agrees with this table showing a close 2017 estimate of 21.0%.
If the estimates are so variable, are any of them reliable? Which would be the ultimate, most official and most reliable estimate? Particularly, the QOF estimates reported by NHS & PHE (1) appear to be less than half those reported elsewhere (2). Why would that be the case?