In Brief

Global cost of obesity to top £900bn a year from 2025

New figures suggest a third of the world’s population will be obese within eight years

The cost of tackling obesity-related illnesses worldwide is on course to hit $1.2trn (£911bn) per year from 2025 onwards unless more is done to check the “rapidly worsening epidemic”, according to The Guardian.

Obesity and smoking are currently the two main drivers behind the “soaring” number of cases of cancers, heart attacks, diabetes and strokes, reports the newspaper - the biggest killers in the modern world.

The figures, published by World Obesity Federation (WOF), show that the US alone is set to spend a total of $4.2trn (£3.2trn) on treating obesity-related disease over the next eight years. The UK will spend around £180bn over that period if current trends continue - building to a total of £23.5bn per year by 2025. NHS chief executive Simon Stevens warned back in 2014 that obesity threatens to bankrupt the NHS.

The US, meanwhile, may face an obesity-related treatment bill of $555bn (£421bn) per year by 2025, up from $325bn (£247bn) in 2014.

The WOF’s figures also show that in 2014, a third of men and women in the US were obese, with experts predicting that will rise to 41% by 2025. In the UK, that figure was 27%, expected to rise to 34% within eight years. 

Overall, the organisation expects there to  be around 2.7 billion overweight and obese adults worldwide by 2025 - around a third of the planet’s population - “many of whom are likely to end up needing medical care”, says The Guardian.

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