Obesity costs Britain more than terrorism and war

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A study revealed that obesity is more of a burden on Britain than terrorism, war and armed violence and they have been urged to take immediate action.

The study, which was undertaken by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), said the ‘obesity crisis’ in the UK costs around £47bn per annum.

It found that this comes second only to the massive annual £578bn toll smoking takes on the economy.

The study stated that the global economic impact of obesity is on the rise. It stated that today obesity is fighting with smoking and armed conflict in having the biggest human-generated global economic effect.

Estimates on the total annual amount spent on terrorism, war and armed violence is £43bn.

The study has laid blame for this growing crisis on an ineffective Government response and has branded its obesity policy as ‘too fragmented to be effective’.

The MGI has urged the Government to offer an urgent ‘co-ordinated response’ and asked food and drink manufacturers, restaurants and retailers to address this issue. They have recommended a range of new measures to be implemented.

These include portion controls on all fast food packaged goods, more physical education in schools and the introduction of healthy meals at workplaces and schools.

The MGI stated that obesity prevention programme spending is below £638m per annum in the UK. By comparison, the Government spends around £6bn annually on the treatment of conditions linked to being obese or overweight. It claimed that an additional £10bn is spent on the treatment of diabetes.

In excess of 2.1 billion people globally are estimated to be obese or overweight. According to the MGI, this figure is set to increase to around 50% of the adult population worldwide, by 2030.

Image Credit: Emilio Labrador

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