It has emerged that nothing less than a whopping sum of $2 trillion are spent annually on obesity. The global plague amounts to 2.8 per cent of world GDP, which is a near equivalent of the effect of smoking or armed violence, war and terrorism, according to a new report.
The report by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) noted obesity is a critical global issue that requires a comprehensive, international intervention strategy.
More than 2.1 billion people – nearly 30 per cent of the global population -are overweight or obese. That is almost two and a half times the number of adults and children who are undernourished, the report said.
This problem is responsible for about 5 per cent of all deaths a year worldwide, and its global economic impact amounts to roughly $2 trillion annually, the report added.
The problem – which is preventable, is rapidly getting worse. Researchers said if the prevalence of obesity continues on its current trajectory, almost half of the world’s adult population will be overweight or obese by 2030.
The report also stated that global discord surrounding how to move forward underscores the need for integrated assessments of potential solutions. Lack of progress on these fronts is obstructing efforts to address rising rates of obesity.
The report therefore seeks to overcome these hurdles by offering an independent view on the components of a potential strategy. Education and personal responsibility are critical elements of any program aiming to reduce obesity,but they are not sufficient on their own. Other required interventions,according to the report, rely less on conscious choices by individuals and more on changes to the environment and societal norms.