Obesity costing UK economy £47 billion report finds

A report has found that obesity is a greater burden on the UK's economy than armed violence, war and terrorism, costing the country nearly £47 billion a year.

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Obesity cost 'more than violence, war and terrorism'

The authors of a report into obesity have called called for a "coordinated response" from governments, retailers, restaurants and food and drink manufacturers to address the "global obesity crisis".

A series of 44 interventions could bring 20% of overweight or obese people in UK back to normal weight within five to 10 years, the report said. This would save around #16 billion a year in UK, including an annual saving of about £766 million in the NHS, according to the study.

Obesity is a major global economic problem caused by a multitude of factors. Today obesity is jostling with armed conflict and smoking in terms of having the greatest human-generated global economic impact. The global economic impact of obesity is increasing. The evidence suggests that the economic and societal impact of obesity is deep and lasting.

– McKinsey and Company report

The report found the economic impact from smoking in the UK was £57 billion in 2012, or 3.6% of GDP, while the country suffered a £43 billion annual loss from armed violence, war and terrorism or 2.5% of GDP.

Obesity costing UK economy £47 billion report finds

A report has found that obesity is a greater burden on the UK's economy than armed violence, war and terrorism, costing the country nearly £47 billion a year.

Obesity costing UK economy £47 billion report finds. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Image

The study, commissioned by consultancy firm McKinsey and Company, revealed obesity has the second-largest economic impact on the UK behind smoking, generating an annual loss equivalent to 3% of GDP.

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