Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Obesity costs Ireland €1.64 Billion per annun...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Obesity costs Ireland €1.64 Billion per annun...

A new study at University College Cork has found that the annual cost of people being overweight and obese on the island of Ireland is about €1.64 billion. More than a third of the costs are directly related to healthcare including hospital in-patient and out-patient care, GP visits and drugs. The other two-thirds were indirect and were accounted for by things like reduced or lost productivity and absenteeism. The main reason for work absenteeism and productivity loss is lower back pain.

The CEO of Safefood Martin Higgins said..."We now have reliable, contemporary and locally relevant figures for the annual, economic cost of weight-related ill health in Ireland. While it is acknowledged that these are conservative figures and don’t reflect the human and social costs, they show a compelling case for obesity prevention, based on changes in our food environment and physical activity levels.”

Dr Cliodhna Foley-Nolan of Safefood added...“Excess body weight is associated with a significant burden of chronic disease, with negative effects on overall life expectancy, disability free life expectancy, quality of life, healthcare costs and productivity. The findings from this research are critical for establishing priorities in health policy development and to guide and inform our response to the issue of excess weight in our society which is fundamentally preventable.”

18 weight-related diseases were studied and the main drivers of direct healthcare costs were: Cardiac arrest (44%), Type 2 diabetes (9%), Colorectal cancer (12%), Stroke (6%), Cancers of the breast (2%), Kidney (3%), Oesophagus (2%), Gallbladder (3%).

Professor Ivan Perry of UCC said...“The current findings on the cost of overweight and obesity highlight the extend of societal involvement in diet and health and the limitations of approaches which emphasise the role of personal choice, responsibility and market forces in relation to diet and health. The current obesity epidemic in children and adults represents a clear example of market failure with external/third party costs defaulting to the taxpayers. The food sector is currently regulated to ensure food safety. Policy makers need to consider whether there is a need to extend this regulatory framework to address the effects of diet on health and wellbeing.”

According to the IUNA National Adult Nutrition Survey 2011, among 18-64 year olds, showed that
37% were overweight (44% men/31% women) and 24% were obese (26% men/21 % women)
The prevalence of obesity in 18-64 year old adults has increased significantly since 1990 from 8% to 26% in men, and from 13% to 21% in women. In the past twenty years men have gained an average of 8kg (nearly 18lbs) and women have gained an average of 5kg (over 11 lbs). The Survey of Lifestyle, Attitudes and Nutrition (SLÁN 2007) of adults aged 18+ in ROI found that 60% of respondents had an average waist circumference in the “at risk” zone for obesity (>37 inches for men and > 32 inches for women). In Northern Ireland, 61% of adults aged 16+ were overweight or obese (Health Survey Northern Ireland, 2012))

Source...Safe Food Ireland

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