Obesity: the human and financial burden

A quarter of the adult population of the UK are now obese and nearly 2% are morbidly obese. The co-morbidities associated with obesity include type two diabetes, sleep apnoea, cancer, depressions and arthritis (NHS Information Centre 2010). The impairment to quality of life and the disability caused by these conditions carries an enormous human, social and financial cost; in 2007 these costs to the wider health economy were estimated to be in the region of £3.2 billion. Obese patients are proven to have a higher prevalence of limiting, longstanding illnesses, and obesity is also known to decrease life expectancy by seven years in a 40-year-old, increasing up to the age of 75 years.

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