90 million lives will be lost to obesity in the next 30 years


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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Obesity-related diseases will claim more than 90 million lives in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries in the next 30 years, with life expectancy reduced by nearly three years by 2050. 

That’s according to a new report from the OECD, The Heavy Burden of Obesity - The Economics of Prevention, which analyses the burden of obesity and overweight in 52 countries.

The report shows average rates of adult obesity in OECD countries increased from 21 per cent in 2010 to 24 per cent in 2016, meaning an additional 50 million people are now obese. In fact, it says more than half the population is now overweight in 34 out of 36 OECD countries and almost one in four people is obese. 

The authors say the rise in the number of people with high body mass index is “squeezing” healthcare budgets. OECD countries are spending around 8.4 per cent of their total health budget on tackling obesity-related diseases. The report says, however, that tackling overweight is an “excellent investment” and shows that every dollar spent on preventing obesity generates up to a six-fold economic return. 

It identifies four categories of policies to tackle the issue, including promotion of exercise by doctors and schools.