Live revision! Join us for our free exam revision livestreams Watch now

Teaching activity

In the News Teaching Activity – growing obesity and its health costs (Mar 2024)

Elizabeth Veal

7th March 2024

Rising obesity rates worldwide, now estimated to affect over one billion people, are driving a surge in healthcare costs. The UK lies 55th highest for men and 87th for women in the world ‘obesity table’ and it is one key factor contributing to strains on the NHS.

According to this Sky News report, a global study published in The Lancet reveals that over one billion people worldwide, including approximately 16.8 million in the UK, are now classed as obese, with obesity rates among children and adults rising significantly since 1990. In the UK, where 28.3% of women and 26.9% of men are now obese, health experts warn of the severe impact on individuals' well-being, with increased risks of type 2 diabetes, cancer, mental health issues and the strain on healthcare resources, emphasising the urgent need for collaborative efforts from governments, communities, and the private sector to address the escalating health crisis. Obesity is, in many countries, now a greater source of malnutrition than a lack of access to enough food.

Number of obese people worldwide surpasses one billion | World News | Sky News

1 What is happening to obesity in the UK and worldwide?

2 What negative externalities are associated with rising obesity levels?

3 Discuss the polices that a government could put in place to reduce obesity rates and increase social welfare. Use an MSB/MSC diagram in your analysis.

Download this free tutor2u resource

Elizabeth Veal

Liz has taught Economics for over 25 years, including several years as Head of Economics at leading schools.

© 2002-2024 Tutor2u Limited. Company Reg no: 04489574. VAT reg no 816865400.