Tuesday, March 7, 2023
According to a recent report by the World Obesity Federation, the economic impact of overweight and obesity is projected to surpass $4 trillion by 2035. This is a staggering figure that highlights the urgency of addressing the global obesity epidemic.
Obesity is a major public health challenge that affects millions of people around the world. It is a complex condition that is influenced by a range of factors, including genetics, environment, and behavior. Obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, while overweight is defined as having a BMI between 25 and 29.9.
How Obesity Impacts Economies
The economic impact of obesity is significant, as it affects not only individuals but also society as a whole. The report by the World Obesity Federation estimates that the total cost of overweight and obesity to the global economy will reach $2.0 trillion per year by 2025 and $4.2 trillion per year by 2035. This includes direct costs, such as healthcare expenses, as well as indirect costs, such as lost productivity and absenteeism.
The healthcare costs of obesity are particularly high, as individuals with obesity are more likely to suffer from a range of health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer. In addition to these direct costs, obesity also has indirect costs that affect the wider economy, such as lost productivity due to absenteeism and disability.
One of the most concerning aspects of the report is the fact that the economic burden of obesity is disproportionately borne by low-and middle-income countries. This is because these countries often have limited resources to deal with the challenges posed by obesity, such as a lack of healthcare infrastructure and education.
What We Can Do in the Fight Against Obesity
The good news is that obesity is a preventable condition, and there are many steps that individuals and society as a whole can take to address the issue. For example, governments can introduce policies that promote healthy eating and physical activity, such as taxes on sugary drinks and subsidies for healthy foods. Healthcare providers can also play a crucial role in preventing and managing obesity by providing education and support to individuals.
There is also a significant amount of progress to be made in regards to the social circumstances surrounding obesity. Individuals with obesity face discrimination due to misconceptions about the condition. These misconceptions often characterize obesity as a condition that develops due to simply overeating or eating the “wrong” foods. The truth is that obesity is highly nuanced and complex, which makes sense when understanding that no two people share the same physiology and genetic predispositions. Changing public perception around obesity can be accomplished through more informed messaging in popular media, food marketing, and access to better education, etc...
At the individual level, there are many things that people can do to reduce their risk of obesity, such as eating a healthy and balanced diet, engaging in regular physical activity, and avoiding unhealthy behaviors such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
The economic impact of obesity and overweight is a problem that we can’t ignore. There is an abundance of work to be done, but by working together at the individual, community, and national levels, we can reduce the burden of obesity and promote a healthier and more sustainable future for all.
About Journey Clinic
Norman Regional Journey Clinic is a bariatric clinic that offers both medical and surgical weight loss options to help patients achieve a healthier life. The clinic has specialists who can guide patients through their weight loss journey, from the clinic to the hospital to their home.
Candidates can check their BMI to determine their eligibility for weight loss surgery on our website, JourneyClinic.com.
The medical weight loss program includes customized guidance and support, while surgical weight loss options include minimally-invasive procedures like gastric bypass surgery and sleeve surgery, all performed within Norman Regional Health System.
The bariatric program at Journey Clinic has been accredited by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and recognized as a Women’s Choice Award Winner for Best Hospitals for Bariatric Care in 2020.
If you are interested in making a lifestyle change to address overweight or obesity in your own life, you can schedule an appointment by calling 405-515-2049.