The Scottish Health Survey 2011: Volume 1 - Adults

Annual report of the Scottish Health Survey for 2011. Volume focussing on adult health

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1. Grant, I., Fischbacher, C., and Whyte, B. (2007). Obesity in Scotland - An epidemiology briefing. Edinburgh: NHS National Services Scotland/Scottish Public Health Observatory. [online] Available from:

2. Scottish Government. Preventing Overweight and Obesity in Scotland: A Route Map Towards Healthy Weight. Edinburgh: the Scottish Government, 2010.

3. Gray, L. and Leyland, A. (2009). Chapter 7: Obesity. In Bromley, C., Bradshaw, P. and Given, L. [eds.] The 2008 Scottish Health Survey - Volume 1: Main Report. Edinburgh, Scottish Government.

4. Gray, L. and Leyland, A. (2010). Chapter 7: Adult obesity. In Bromley, C., Given, L. and Ormston, R. [eds.] The 2009 Scottish Health Survey - Volume 1: Main Report. Edinburgh, Scottish Government.

5. Gray, L. and Leyland, A. (2011). Chapter 7: Adult and child obesity. In Bromley, C. and Given, L. [eds.] The 2010 Scottish Health Survey - Volume 1: Main Report. Edinburgh, Scottish Government.

6. Healthy Eating, Active Living: An action plan to improve diet, increase physical activity and tackle obesity (2008-2011), Edinburgh: Scottish Government, 2008.

7. See: and

8. Obesity Route Map: Action Plan - Version 1.0. Edinburgh: Scottish Government, 2011.

9. Health Analytical Services Scottish Government and Information and Statistics Division, NHS National Services Scotland. Indicators to Monitor Progress of the Obesity Route Map. Edinburgh: Scottish Government, 2011

10. Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network. Management of obesity. A national clinical guideline. SIGN guideline no. 115. Edinburgh: SIGN, 2010.

11. See:

12. See:

13. Rutherford, L. and Purdon, S. Scottish Health Survey Waist and Blood Pressure Validation Study, Edinburgh: Scottish Government, Publication forthcoming.

14. The Frankfort Plane is an imaginary line passing through the external ear canal and across the top of the lower bone of the eye socket, immediately under the eye. Participants' heads are positioned with the Frankfort Plane in a horizontal position when height is measured using a stadiometer as a means of ensuring that, as far as possible, the measurements taken are standardised.

15. For a full review of obesity measures see: National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (2006). CG43 Obesity: full guideline, section 2: Identification and Classification. [online] Available from:

16. Romero-Corral, A. et al (2008). Accuracy of body mass index in diagnosing obesity in the adult general population. International Journal of Obesity. 32, 959-966.

17. These cut-offs differ to those used in the previous surveys. In 1995 and 1998 the normal weight range was defined as 20-25 kg/m2, in 2003 it was changed to 18.5-25 kg/m2. From 2008 onwards the ranges will be defined as set out below. This brings the definition in line with WHO recommendations. The impact of the change of definition is very marginal as very few people have a BMI measurement that is exactly 18.5, 25, 30 or 40 kg/m2.

2003 2008 onwards
Underweight 18.5 or under Less than 18.5
Normal weight Over 18.5 - 25 18.5 to less than 25
Overweight Over 25 - 30 25 to less than 30
Obese Over 30 - 40 30 to less than 40
Morbidly obese Over 40 40+

18. World Health Organisation (2009). WHO Obesity Factsheet. [online] Available from:

19. Prospective Studies Collaboration (2009). Body-mass index and cause-specific mortality in 900,000 adults: collaborative analyses of 57 prospective studies. The Lancet. 373, 1083-96.

20. World Health Organisation. (2000). The problems of overweight and obesity. In: WHO. Obesity: preventing and managing the global epidemic. Report of a WHO consultation. WHO Technical Report Series 894. Geneva: WHO. [online] Available from:

21. NHS Consensus Development Conference. (2006). Gastrointestinal surgery for severe obesity. Nutrition. 12, 397-402.

22. For details about the methodology of the hip circumference measurements, see the methods section of the 2009 Obesity chapter (reference 4 above), or the measurement protocols set out in Volume 3 of this report (Technical Report).

23. National Institutes of Health. Third report of the National Cholesterol Education Program Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III). Bethesda, Md: National Institutes of Health 2001. NIH Publication 01-3670.

24. People with a BMI in the normal range and a low WC, or with a normal BMI and high WC were assigned to the "no increased risk" group, as per the SIGN recommendations.


Email: Julie Ramsay

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