Finally, in another worldwide report, the cost of obesity on the world’s healthcare systems will top $2 trillion dollars this year approaching smoking and war in health impact. A consulting group called the McKinsey Global Institute looked at the economic impact of obesity.

30 Percent of World Overweight

fat-belly_smThey found that the problem is not just a health issue but a global economic and business issue. Currently about 30 percent of the world’s population are obese or overweight and in developed countries, more than 15 percent of healthcare costs are used up by these individuals.

The argument is made that a concerted international effort be made to deal with obesity before the costs rise to levels that are even higher. Part of the problem is bickering between nations on how to best move forward. The study’s authors said that “We are on an unfortunate trajectory” with obesity worldwide. “We have to act.”

Obesity a Worldwide Economic and Health Issue

With over 2 billion obese people worldwide, there is a need to take action now. I think that many of the people in the world see this as only an American problem but this report shows that the problem is a worldwide issue. As countries become more affluent and industrialized, obesity becomes a more prevalent problem.

Projections say that by the year 2030, more than half the world population will be overweight or obese. This is simply unacceptable and there needs to be an international initiative to deal with this problem. These things start at home, though so what can you the individual nurse do to work on this problem in your community with your patients?

There are a lot of resources you can connect your patients with here in the U.S. Visit the site at CDC.gov/obesity for a lot of resources for you as a healthcare professional and for your patients, too.

Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Giving Back Health Data at PatientsLikeMe and Episode 322.

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