The Guardian reports: The cost of treating ill health caused by obesity around the world will top $1.2tn every year from 2025 unless more is done to check the rapidly worsening epidemic, according to new expert estimates.
Obesity and smoking are the two main drivers behind the soaring numbers of cancers, heart attacks, strokes and diabetes worldwide, grouped together officially as non-communicable diseases. They are the biggest killers of the modern world.
The United States faces by far the biggest treatment bill, with a rise from $325bn per year in 2014 to $555bn in just eight years’ time, partly because of the high cost of medical care in the US. But all countries are looking at a very steep rise in costs that will be unaffordable for most. In the UK, the bill is set to rise from $19bn to $31bn per year in 2025. The NHS chief executive, Simon Stevens, has already warned that obesity threatens to bankrupt the NHS.
Over the next eight years, the experts say, the US will spend $4.2tn on treating obesity-related disease, Germany will spend $390bn, Brazil $251bn and the UK $237bn if these countries do not do more to try to prevent it. [Continue reading…]