Obesity Indicators 2014

This publication reports the latest available data for 16 indicators selected to monitor progress for the Prevention of Obesity Route Map. Most indicators are updated up to 2013, but for some indicators data is more or less up-to-date than this.

This document is part of a collection

Proportion of men and women overweight and obese

Indicator Source: Scottish Health Survey


In 2013, nearly two thirds of adults (64.6%) were overweight or obese (BMI 25+). Within this, more than a quarter (27.1%) were obese (BMI 30+).

There has been an increase in the proportion who are overweight or obese among both sexes (aged 16-64) since 1995, from 52.4% to 62.6%. Most of this increase was seen between 1995 and 2008, with figures remaining broadly stable since then.

Both overweight (including obesity) rates and obesity rates were significantly different for men and women, in 2013. Men were more likely than women to be overweight including obese (68.3% compared with 61.0%), whereas obesity prevalence was higher among women than men (29.3% versus 24.9%).

Prevalence of overweight and obesity increases with age for both men and women, with the sharpest increase seen between ages 16-24 and 25-34. In 2013, 35.7% of adults aged 16-24 were overweight or obese, rising to 76.8% of those aged 55-64.

Proportion of adults overweight and obese 1995-2013 (16-64), 2003-2013 (16 +)


Desired Outcome:
Majority of Scotland's adult population in normal weight range throughout adult life.


Overweight - BMI 25+
Obese - BMI 30+

Geography available:
National, Health Board.

Equalities data:

Breakdowns by all six equalities groups are possible. Breakdowns for 2008-2011 are available in the Scottish Health Survey topic report on equality groups published in October 2012. http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2012/10/8988

Rationale for including this indicator:

The aim of this indicator is to monitor changes in the proportion of Scotland's adult population who are overweight and obese. It is used to identify any different patterns (and hence need for specific policy focus) amongst men and women of different ages. It is a long term measure of success of the Route Map.Factors influencing this indicator:
  • Physical activity and sedentary behaviour are strongly associated with obesity for men and women.
  • For women, obesity is significantly associated with area-level deprivation (SIMD) but not for men[2]


Email: Daniel Adams

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