According to a report commissioned by McKensey & Company, obesity costs the global economy as much as war and terrorism, totalling a whopping $2 trillion each year!
The obesity epidemic costs the UK, £47 billion per year while in the US it's £663 billion. In 2012 the report found that in the UK, obesity had the second largest impact after smoking, generating an economic loss of more than £44 billion a year, while the annual loss from the armed forces, violence and war was £43 billion.
Why it's a problem!
There are more than 2.1 billion people across the world, (around 30 per cent of the world's population) that are either overweight or obese, with experts predicting that almost half the world's adult population will be overweight or obese by 2030. Between 2000 and 2013 no country in the G-20 has managed to reduce its obesity prevalence, with it being responsible for 5 per cent of the world's deaths.
Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, said: "Overweight and obesity is a complex problem, which requires action across individual and societal levels involving industry, national and local government and the voluntary sector. There is no single 'silver bullet' solution. If we reduce obesity to 1993 levels, where 15 per cent of the population were obese, we will avoid five million disease cases and save the NHS alone an additional £1.2 billion by 2034." The report predicted a series of 44 interventions that could bring 20 per cent of overweight or obese people in the UK back into the 'normal weight' category within 5 to 10 years. This would save around £16 billion a year in the UK. A few of the interventions that are being discussed are:
• portion control on fast food packed goods
• better nutrition labelling on foods and packaging
• Investing in parental education
• introducing healthy meals in schools and the workplace
• chaning the school curriculum to include more physical exercise
• encouraging more physical activities by introducing cycle lanes and free bicycle use
This report clearly highlights the ever growing problems associated with the obesity epidemic, and on current projections, the cost to the NHS could increase from £6 billion to £8 billion in 2015 to between £10 billion and £12 billion in 2030. With figures as high as these, people who are overweight or obese are going to eventually place a strain, not only on their waistline but, also on the economy too!
Don't you think it's time to take action? I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic as well as any additional interventions you feel would help to tackle this war againt fat!
About Chris Hall
As the founder of Hall Training Systems, it is my mission to provide you with the very best personal training experience. I set up Hall Training Systems as Oxford's leading personal training service in nutrition, performance and weight loss, ensuring I can deliver the very best in training techniques.
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