THE number of people admitted to hospital in York because of obesity has more than doubled in the past three years.

The city has seen a 125 per cent increase in patients with conditions directly related to being overweight, such as diabetes and heart disease.

And doctors have blamed the extra pressure on hospital services on cuts to public health programmes.

In 2015 there were 1,674 admissions in York where obesity was a primary or secondary diagnosis but in 2017 that number shot up to 3,770.

Dr Rajeev Gupta, Yorkshire regional council chair of the British Medical Association, said: “As is often the case, prevention is the best solution but efforts to tackle obesity are being undermined by cuts to public health services, which have included cuts to children’s and adults' obesity services.

“This is a national health crisis and one that will not go away until the necessary further steps are taken.

“York was among the areas with the highest level of obesity-related hospital admissions per population. This highlights the need for a more comprehensive approach to tackling obesity and promoting healthy diets in the area.”

Labour MP Rachael Maskell said the figures were “shocking”, adding: “Clearly the cuts to public health are having serious consequences. We are going to see the situation get worse as people are in food poverty in York.

“Lack of public health will result in obesity becoming more and more of a feature. People are being failed on a number of fronts because society has failed them. This is why we need a strong public health service.”

She added that overweight people can struggle to get “vital procedures” because of their weight, but Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said it does not refuse surgery to overweight people.

A spokesman said: “The CCG introduced criteria in February 2017 which asks patients with a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 30 or above to lose weight before surgery. Support and help to achieve this is also offered. Eating healthily and exercising regularly can make a real difference to health and to the result of operations.

“However there is no ban and no blanket policy – people who do not wish to access the support services or fail to meet the criteria will not be denied their operation. Decisions about what is in the best interests of their health will be made on a case-by-case basis.”

Fiona Phillips, assistant director of public health at City of York Council, said work is being done to promote healthy lifestyles.

She said: “We have established a healthy weight steering group with partners in York to look at further actions to reduce the prevalence of unhealthy weight and support people to improve their health. Our Yorwellbeing service is already advising people who want to address their weight through physical activity and good diet, our Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy includes tackling obesity as a priority as does our work to develop a Healthy Weight and Active Lives Strategy.”