Only one in three men is now classed as being a normal weight for his height, worrying new figures show.
Experts say the figures show Britain’s obesity crisis is spiralling out of control and getting worse by the day.
The statistics, from the NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) give a snapshot of England’s obesity epidemic in 2011.
They show a ‘marked increase’ in obesity over the last 20 years, with 65 per cent of men and 58 per cent of women now classed as overweight or obese. Just 37 per cent are a ‘normal weight’.
This is defined as having an body mass index (BMI) of 18.5 to 25.
The proportion of men in this category fell from 41 per cent in 1993 to 34 per cent in 2011.
The report also found that 1 in 10 children are now classed as obese when they start school.
There has also been a stark rise in obesity-related hospital admissions.
In 2011/12, 11,740 people were admitted to hospitals in England because of obesity – up threefold in five years – with the number of women three times higher than men.
Stomach operations designed to help fat people lose weight also shot up, says the HSCIC.
In 2011/12, 8,790 people underwent a procedure to help them lose weight – such as stomach stapling or a gastric bypass – a fourfold rise in five years.
Over the same period, people bought less fruit and vegetables, with fruit sales falling 4.1 per cent in 2011 compared to 2008.
The amount of vegetables bought was 2.4 per cent lower – with a 6.6 per cent drop in fresh green vegetables.
Only 36 per cent of adults were found to take part in 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity at least once a week.
Tim Straughan, chief executive of the Health and Social Care Information Centre, said ‘It won’t have escaped the majority of people that obesity is a high profile issue in this country.
‘This annual report is important in bringing clarity to how this actually affects people, patients and the NHS, from the weighing scales to the operating theatre.
‘Based on the Body Mass Index measurement, the proportion of adults estimated to be of a normal weight has dropped substantially since this report’s time series began in 1993.’
Graham Rowan, chairman of the Obesity Management Association, said ‘The obesity epidemic is getting worse by the day and steadily spiralling out of control.’
A survey last year found that one in three men are too fat to see their own penis.
A shocking 33 per cent of 35 to 60-year-olds are so overweight that their manhood is hidden from sight when they stand upright and look downwards.
Meanwhile a staggering 44 per cent of those aged between 51 and 60 fail the ’spot the penis’ test, says the research.
The survey was commissioned by the website WeLoveOurHealth.co.uk
Dr Johan du Plessis, of the website, said: An obese man who cannot see his penis is five times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, three times more likely to develop cancer of the colon and more than two and a half times more likely to develop high blood pressure – a major risk factor for stroke and heart disease.’