A new report, Tipping the scales: why preventing obesity makes economic sense, from the UK Health Forum and Cancer Research UK has found that rising rates of obesity and overweight could lead to 700,000 new cancer cases in the UK, as well as millions of new cases of type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke. This would cost the NHS an additional £2.5 billion a year by 2035 over and above what is already spent on obesity related disease.
On the plus side the study shows that small changes can have dramatic impacts. A one per cent reduction in the number of overweight or obese people every year could prevent more than 64,000 cancer cases over the next 20 years and save the NHS £300 million in 2035 alone.
The report calls on the Government to act now and introduce a 20p per litre tax on sugary drinks as well as a 9pm watershed ban on TV advertising of junk food as part of a comprehensive children’s obesity strategy. (Press Release, 7 Jan 2016)