More than 7,500 people in South Yorkshire were admitted to hospital because of obesity last year – with over 200 given drastic surgery.
New figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre have revealed 7,505 people visited hospital in Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster and were given a primary or secondary diagnosis of obesity.
In Sheffield there were 4,116 obesity-linked hospital admissions in 2012-13, up from 3,555 the previous year.
Of these 3,158 were women, compared with 958 men.
Across the county just over 200 people were given bariatric surgery such as gastric bands and stomach stapling, down from 273 in 2011-12.
But in Sheffield the numbers were up. Sixty patients - 44 women and 16 men - went under the knife, up from 53 the year before.
A spokeswoman for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals said surgery was considered only ‘as a last resort’ following ‘careful medical and physiological assessments’.
The figures showed a massive drop in the number of people diagnosed with obesity in Doncaster, from more than 8,200 in 2011-12 to 1,105 last year.
At the time health chiefs in the town admitted the statistics were ‘unusual’, and launched an investigation into whether Doncaster’s data was being recorded differently to elsewhere in South Yorkshire.
Last year in Barnsley there were 853 admissions, with 66 given surgery, and 1,431 hospital visits in Rotherham. However, only ‘between one and five’ people in Rotherham were operated on, according to the figures.
Heeley GP Dr Ollie Hart, who is leading Sheffield’s Move More project, said improving fitness was more important than simply reducing obesity.
“It’s better to be fat and fit than it is to be slim and unfit,” he said. “If you burn more calories, you lose weight and reduce obesity. Thinking about food and physical activity together is really important.”