A new warning has been made by the Chief Executive of the National Health Service who has stated that obesity could bankrupt the health service.
“Obesity is the new smoking, and it represents a slow-motion car crash in terms of avoidable illness and rising health care costs,” Simon Stevens told public health officials at a Public Health conference in Coventry.
“If as a nation we keep piling on the pounds around the waistline, we’ll be piling on the pounds in terms of future taxes needed just to keep the NHS afloat.”
Nearly one in five secondary school age children and a quarter of adults are obese – up from 15% just twenty years ago, Simons pointed out. If obesity is not checked, there will be a huge rise in avoidable illness and disability. Type 2 diabetes, largely caused by overweight and obesity, already costs the NHS around £9bn, according to Diabetes UK.