2.1 billion or 30 percent of the world’s population is either overweight or obese and the obese population is hurting the global economy.
The global cost of obesity is higher than the cost of road accidents, drug use and alcoholism and is close to the cost of smoking and armed conflict, a new study claims.
The study claims that $2 trillion is estimated to be the cost of obesity. This sum is is equal to 2.8 percent of the global economic output. This makes obesity one of the top three world economic problems behind terrorism, war, armed conflict and smoking.
The McKinsey consultancy firm carried the study which reveals that obesity is presently responsible for around 5 percent of worldwide deaths a year.
Nearly 30 percent of the world’s population, which is more than 2.1 billion people are obese or overweight. This is about two and a half times more than the number of children and adults who are undernourished.
Studies conducted in Ireland show that out of three Irish adults, two of them are obese or overweight. The same is with one in four primary school children in Ireland.
“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 report said.
McKinsey warned about the situation and said it forecasts that more than half of the globe population will be overweight or obese by the year 2030.
The authors of the study said:
“The toll of obesity on healthcare systems alone is between 2 per cent and 7 per cent of all healthcare spending in developed countries. That does not include the large cost of treating associated diseases, which take the healthcare toll up to 20 per cent by some estimates. There is growing evidence too that the productivity of employees is being undermined by obesity, compromising the competitiveness of companies,”
McKinsey recommends numerous measures in combating obesity, such as adding more physical activities in schools, introducing healthier foods in the workplace and at school and control information to products and the education of parents and guardians regarding what they feed their children with.