The Heavy Burden of Obesity

The Economics of Prevention

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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.


The economic burden of obesity

This chapter provides an overview of the burden of obesity on population health and the economy. Based on the results of the OECD Strategic Public Health Planning for non-communicable diseases (SPHeP-NCDs) model, it presents the impact of obesity on life expectancy, morbidity and mortality, and on health expenditure in 52 countries – including OECD, EU28 and Group of 20 (G20) member countries. It also explores the impact of obesity on the labour market and the wider economy. Linking to the OECD long-term economic model, the impact of obesity on gross domestic product (GDP) and tax rate is assessed.



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