Obesity is costing £47billion a year – more than war and terrorism.
Only smoking costs the UK more, a shocking report by consultants McKinsey warned last Friday.
Two in three adults in the UK are overweight or obese, more than twice the rate of the world population.
The cost of obesity in lost workdays, output and healthcare is rising fast. The report warned: “Obesity is a major economic problem caused by a multitude of factors.
Today obesity is jostling with armed conflict and smoking in having the greatest human-generated global economic impact.”
It found smoking cost the UK £57billion in 2012, while war and terrorism cost £43billion. More than 2.1 billion people are overweight or obese, and half the world’s adult population, now 7.1 billion, will be by 2030, says the report.
It called for a “coordinated response” from governments, retailers, restaurants and food and drink firms.
The UK spends less than £638million a year on obesity prevention but spends about £6billion on medical costs linked to it and a further £10billion on diabetes.