The epidemic of overweight and obesity in the world, in addition to reducing life expectancy and limiting the social development of people, has a negative economic impact, assessed in a loss of 3.3% of gross domestic product (GDP) in the OECD countries.
In a report published on Thursday about this phenomenon, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) notes the worsening of the problem, which already affects almost 60% of people in its member countries.
The percentage of obese, which was 15.4% in 1996, rose to 19.1% in 2006 and 23.2% in 2016, the date of the latest available data.
The figures are above that average in about twenty of the 52 countries covered by the study – in addition to those of the OECD itself are all those in the EU and several in development -, in particular in the United States (36.2%), Saudi Arabia (35.4%) and Turkey (32.1%), but also in Mexico (28.9%), Argentina (28.3%) or Chile (28%).
The chances of finding a job are 8% lower for an overweight person and when they are busy they are less productive and more low.
It is also in queue of the 52 countries of the Mexico study for the impact on its economy of overweight, which subtracts 5.3% of GDP, followed closely by Brazil (5%). Also above the average are countries such as the United States (4.4%), Colombia (4.3%) or Chile (3.8%).
In Spain, although it falls below the average, this economic impact is still 2.9%, much higher than that of the model countries that are Japan (1.6%) and Luxembourg (1.9%).
The OECD estimates that diseases linked to overweight and obesity absorb 8.4% of the average health budget among its members, with percentages reaching 14% in the United States and 11% in Canada and Germany. At the other extreme, in France it is limited to 5% and 6% in Japan. Spain stands at 9.7% above the average.
The authors of the study give some elements of hope with adequate policies: if the caloric content of energy foods were reduced by 20%, that would have significant benefits for people and for the economy.
According to a model developed for 42 countries around the world, 1.1 million annual chronic diseases, especially of the heart, could be avoided. This would save $ 13.2 billion of medical expenses and GDP would rise by 0.5%.
. (tagsToTranslate) overweight (t) obesity (t) reduce (t) GDP (t) OECD