The Heavy Burden of Obesity

The Economics of Prevention

image of The Heavy Burden of Obesity

Almost one in four people in OECD countries is currently obese. This epidemic has far-reaching consequences for individuals, society and the economy. Using microsimulation modelling, this book analyses the burden of obesity and overweight in 52 countries (including OECD, European Union and G20 countries), showing how overweight reduces life expectancy, increases healthcare costs, decreases workers' productivity and lowers GDP. The report makes the urgent economic case to scale up investments in policies to promote healthy lifestyles and tackle this growing global public health problem. The book evaluates a number of policies which could significantly improve health outcomes while being an excellent investment for countries.


Overweight, poor diet and physical activity: Analysis of trends and patterns

This chapter presents patterns and trends for overweight and obesity in OECD countries, OECD accession and selected partner countries, EU28 countries, and Group of 20 (G20) countries. Overall, obesity prevalence is increasing in all countries analysed and severe or morbid obesity is also on the rise. These patterns are examined in both adults and children, and separate analyses are performed to determine whether rates of overweight and obesity vary among different population groups, such as by sex and socio-economic status, including income and education. Lastly, this chapter covers various determinants of obesity, such as diet, physical activity, and sedentary behaviour, in order to elucidate targeted health policy strategies.




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