Shock figures show medics are seeing a patient with weight problems every 15 seconds.

And there were a record 632,975 hospital appointments last year where doctors said their patient was obese – a 19% rise over the past year.

Health expert professor David Haslam warned: “I’ve seen patients who have eaten more to qualify for weight loss surgery and some have even been advised to do so by their consultants.

“Even the most fat-phobic taxpayer should rejoice at weight loss surgery, which pays for itself in one to three years in reduced obesity related health costs.”

The most common type of procedure is a band placed around the stomach so the person does not need to eat as much to feel full.

Research shows overweight and obese people have almost 40% higher health care costs.

The bill in England is nearly £2billion annually.

Tam Fry, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, said some patients “are eating themselves to death.

“This nation has been lamentable in preventing this obesity epidemic and the cost is likely to bring down the NHS.”