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Obesity-related diseases will claim 90 million lives within 30 years

Half the population is overweight in 34 out of 36 OECD countries

Obesity-related diseases will claim more than 90 million lives in OECD countries in the next 30 years, with life expectancy reduced by nearly three years.

Obesity and its related conditions also reduce GDP by 3.3% in OECD countries and exact a heavy toll on personal budgets, according to the OECD report.

The research reveals more than half the population is now overweight in 34 out of 36 OECD countries and almost one in four people is obese.

Average rates of adult obesity in OECD countries have increased from 21% in 2010 to 24% in 2016, meaning an additional 50 million people are now obese.

The report warns obese adults are at greater risk of chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, and reduced life expectancy.

In the 28 EU countries, women and men in the lowest income group are, respectively, 90% and 50% more likely to be obese, compared to those on the highest incomes. Individuals with at least one chronic disease associated with being overweight are 8% less likely to be employed the following year. When they have a job, they are up to 3.4% more likely to be absent or less productive. “There is an urgent economic and social case to scale up investments to tackle obesity and promote healthy lifestyles,” said OECD secretary-general Angel Gurría. “These findings clearly illustrate the need for better social, health and education policies that lead to better lives. By investing in prevention, policymakers can halt the rise in obesity for future generations, and benefit economies.”

OECD countries already spend 8.4% of their total health budget on treating obesity-related diseases. Obesity is responsible for 70% of all treatment costs for diabetes, 23% for cardiovascular diseases and 9% for cancers.