Analysis indicates that Britain’s bulging waistline, costing the country nearly £100 billion annually, threatens Rishi Sunak’s plan to reintegrate the unwell into work.
The nation is described as “ill and impoverished” by former government food adviser Henry Dimbleby, with two-thirds of Britons overweight.
Dimbleby urges ministers to impose smoking-style restrictions on frivolous food, stating the figures are a “catastrophe” and that the National Health Service will “drain funds from other public services.”
Obesity-related illnesses cost the NHS £19.2 billion annually and reduce productivity by £15.1 billion.
The Times estimates the overall cost at £98 billion, with shorter, unhealthier lives adding £63 billion.
This amount is expected to increase by an additional £10 billion over the next 15 years. This increase is due to the aging population, which could “cripple” future administrations.
Frontier Economics was hired by the Tony Blair Institute to amend its study starting in 2020, releasing the revised statistics.
“We need a new approach to provide people with genuine options, rebalancing the food system in favor of healthy, cost-effective choices and discouraging profiteering from ultra-processed and junk food,” said Hermione Dace of the Tony Blair Institute.
Long advocated, a ban on junk food advertisements airing after 9 p.m. has been postponed until 2025. Buy-one-get-one-free promotions on hazardous foods have also been delayed until 2025.
The Department of Health states it is “taking firm action to combat obesity,” according to a spokesperson.