The cost of treating obesity-related illnesses globally will top $1.2 trillion every year from 2025 unless more was done to check the rapidly worsening epidemic, new expert estimates revealed on Tuesday.
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, the World Obesity Federation (WOF) said in its estimates.
They are the biggest killers of the modern world, reports the Guardian.
The US faces by far the biggest treatment bill, with a rise from $325 billion per year in 2014 to $555 billion in just eight years’ time. In the UK, the bill is set to rise from $19 billion to $31 billion per year in 2025.
Over the next eight years, the US is set to spend $4.2 trillion on treating obesity-related disease, Germany will spend $390 billion, Brazil $251 billion and the UK $237 billion if these countries do not do more to try to prevent it, the Guardian quoted the federation as saying.
There will be 2.7 billion overweight and obese adults by 2025, many of whom are likely to end up needing medical care which means a third of the global population will be overweight or obese.
“The annual medical costs of treating the consequences of obesity, such as diabetes and heart disease, is truly alarming,” WOF President Ian Caterson said.
“Continual surveillance by WOF has shown how obesity prevalence has risen dramatically over the past 10 years and with an estimated 177 million adults suffering severe obesity by 2025, it is clear that governments need to act now to reduce this burden on their national economies.”
The figures came ahead of World Obesity Day on Wednesday.