Obesity is a larger burden around the UK’s economy than armed violence, war and terrorism, costing the country nearly $47bn a year, a report has found.
The research, commissioned by consultancy firm Slim Xtreme Gold McKinsey and Company, reveals overweight problems have the second-largest economic effect on the united kingdom behind smoking, generating an annual loss equivalent to 3% of GDP.
Greater than 2.1 billion people all over the world – or nearly 30% of the global population – are overweight or obese, with the figure set to rise to just about half of the world’s adult population by 2030, according to the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), which produced the report.
It’s called for a co-ordinated response from governments, retailers, restaurants and drink and food manufacturers to deal with what it really calls the “global obesity crisis”.
A series of 44 interventions could bring 20% of overweight or obese individuals UK normal again weight within five to Ten years, the report says.
This would save around $16bn annually in the united kingdom, including a yearly saving of about $766m in the NHS, based on the study.
The report says: “Obesity is a major global economic problem the result of a multitude of factors. Today weight problems are jostling with armed conflict and smoking in terms of getting the greatest human-generated global economic impact.
“The global economic impact of obesity is increasing. Evidence shows that the economic and societal impact of weight problems are deep and lasting.”
The report finds the economical impact from smoking in the UK was $57bn in 2012, or 3.6% of GDP, as the country a break down $43bn annual loss from armed violence, war and terrorism, or 2.5% of GDP.
In the united kingdom government efforts to tackle obesity were “too fragmented to be effective”, while purchase of obesity prevention was “relatively low given the scale of the problem”, the report says.
The UK spends under $638m a year on obesity prevention programmes – about 1% of the social cost, the research finds.
But the country spends about $6bn a year around the medical costs of conditions related to being overweight or obese and a further $10 billion on diabetes.
Meanwhile the cost of obesity and diabetes to the NHS is equivalent to the UK’s combined “protection” budget for the police and fire services, law courts, and prisons.
The present rate of obesity and overweight conditions suggest the price towards the NHS could increase from between $6bn and $8bn in 2015 to between $10bn and $12bn in 2030, the research finds.
The recommended interventions to reduce the price of obesity include portion control in junk food packaged goods; purchasing parental education; introducing healthy meals in schools and workplaces; changing the college curriculum to include more physical exercise; and inspiring more activities by introducing bicycle lanes.
MGI director Richard Dobbs said: “Efforts to deal with obesity have been piecemeal up till now. Yet weight problems are a systemic issue, born of numerous interlocking factors, and just a systemic response will do.”
Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England (PHE), said: “Overweight and weight problems are an intricate problem which requires action across individual and societal levels involving industry, national and native government and the voluntary sector. There is no single silver-bullet solution.
“Today 25% of the united states is obese and 37% is Leisure 18 Slimming Coffee overweight. When we reduce obesity to 1993 levels, where 15% of people were obese, we will avoid five million disease cases and save the NHS alone yet another $1.2bn by 2034.
“PHE will continue to support local authorities to supply effective weight loss services, to help the regulation of fast food outlets and supply healthier catering in hospitals and schools, that will all help people to lose weight.”