The global cost of obesity outweighs that of alcoholism, drug use or road accidents and closely rivals that of armed conflict and smoking, according to a new study.The cost of obesity is estimated at $2 trillion - equivalent to 2.8 per cent of the world’s economic output, the study found. This makes it one of the top three global social burdens behind smoking and armed violence, war and terrorism..
The research, which was carried out by consultancy firm McKinsey, reveals that obesity is now responsible for about 5 per cent of all deaths a year worldwide.More than 2.1 billion people - equivalent to 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.
A number of studies conducted in Ireland show that two out of three Irish adults, and one in four primary school children, are overweight or obese.“Obesity is a major global economic problem caused by a multitude of factors. Today obesity is jostling with armed conflict and smoking in terms of having the greatest human-generated global economic impact,” the report said.