Sunday, September 24th, 2017

The CO$T of OBESITY & National Guidelines for Curbing It


The Foresight Report (2007) was commissioned in 2005 to look at current obesity trends and to identify how they could be stopped.

“The Foresight Report argues that understanding and preventing obesity is complex. There is no example anywhere in the world where the obesity trend has been reversed. The solution to reversing the trend is more complex than just helping individuals change their diet and take up exercise – although this is a part of the solution.”[1]

The report found that obesity is still increasing. In fact, obesity is overtaking tobacco in incidence.

The report predicts that by 2032 the increase in myocardial infarction by coronary heart disease will rise because of obesity related disease.

The Foresight Report outlined the following economic burden of obesity:

  • medical costs for obese patients were 6% to 45% higher than their normal weight peers (this information was drawn from 32 articles across 12 countries)
  • obesity has been estimated to account for 0.7% – 2.8% of a country’s total health care expenditure
  • a small change in BMI has an impact on disease burden. A 1% reduction in BMI will drop 6.86 billion in health care cost.

While there are numerous examples of good practice in obesity management, not everyone is practising them. At the European Congress of Obesity held in Istanbul recently (May 2011), a number of speakers commented that while many countries have put forward guidelines for tackling obesity, few of the health professionals working with obese patients read these guidelines! In fact, many professionals when asked what would help them work more effectively with obese patients cite further training as something that would help them.


Below are links to the Foresight Report and Obesity Guidelines from the UK, USA and Australia:

Tackling Obesity: the Foresight Report

National Institute for Health & Clinical Excellence (NICE) – UK Obesity Guidelines

National Heart, Blood & Lung Institute (NHBLI) – Obesity Guidelines from the USA

National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) – Australian Obesity Guidelines


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One Response to “The CO$T of OBESITY & National Guidelines for Curbing It”
  1. It’s difficult to find knowledgeable people for this subject, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about!

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