According to the Federation, on average, medical expenses account for 99.8% of all direct costs across all nations. “A significant portion of all indirect costs, or 69.1% on average, are attributable to premature mortality costs. Across all income groups, indirect costs impact GDP more than direct costs (61–88% vs. 12–39%, respectively). The report claims that previous research has only looked at the latter, which accounts for a small portion of the economic effects of overweight and obesity.
In New Delhi: Nearly 17% of India’s population suffers from obesity and overweight conditions, which cost the nation $35 billion (Rs 2. 8 lakh crore) annually or more than 1% of its current GDP. In 2060, India will lose nearly $850 billion (Rs 69 lakh crore) or 2.5% of its GDP, if action is not taken to stop its spread. According to a report published in the BMJ Global Health, this projected economic cost of overweight conditions and obesity is the third highest in the world after China ($10 trillion) and the United States ($2.5 trillion).
Adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 to 29.9 kg/m2 are considered overweight, and those with a BMI of 30 kg/m2 or higher are considered obese. For kids, obesity is defined as having a weight of more than two standard deviations above the median, while being overweight is defined as having a weight of one to two standard deviations above the median.
Estimates from RTI International and the World Obesity Federation examine direct and indirect costs. The former includes medical and non-medical costs, whereas the latter also includes expenses incurred while seeking proper healthcare, such as patient and caregiver travel expenses. Economic loss from early mortality missed workdays and decreased productivity at work are other indirect costs.
According to the Federation, on average, medical expenses account for 99.8% of all direct costs across all nations. “A significant portion of all indirect costs, or 69.1% on average, are attributable to premature mortality costs. Across all income groups, indirect costs impact GDP more than direct costs (61–88% vs. 12–39% respectively). The report claims that previous research has only looked at the latter, which accounts for a small portion of the economic effects of overweight and obesity.
According to Johanna Ralston, CEO of the World Obesity Federation, India faces numerous obstacles as it continues to develop and grow, including a double burden of malnutrition that includes overweight and obesity and undernutrition.
This study demonstrates that the growing overweight and obesity crisis and its costs cannot be ignored. The estimated cost of being overweight and obese in 2019 was $28.95 billion, or $21 per person and 1% of GDP. By addressing the underlying causes of the problem right away, we can stop the economic impact from growing and ensure that everyone in the population lives a happy and healthy life. State and federal public health officials must take this issue seriously and commit to actions to limit the marketing of unhealthy products, advance labeling, and strengthen national policies and recommendations for preventing and managing obesity in children and adults, including in health systems.
The cost of overweight and obesity is predicted to increase from 2.19% to 3.3% of global GDP in 161 nations.
These estimates, according to Ralston, ought to alarm national governments everywhere. Ralston stated that failing strategies which ignore obesity’s underlying causes have resulted from the ongoing stigmatization of people living with obesity and from policies that do not consider the most recent research.
When we consider the many factors that make it difficult for people to lead healthy lives, we shouldn’t be surprised about the projected increases in obesity, according to Rachel Nugent, vice president for global non-communicable diseases at RTI International. Strong economic incentives exist for governments and businesses to support healthy living and reduce the high costs of diseases linked to obesity.
The Global Burden of Disease database has identified 28 diseases correlated with obesity or a high BMI. This includes, among other things, diabetes, liver cancer, low back pain, and osteoarthritis.
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