Health written question – answered on 11th July 2012.

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Photo of Kevin Barron Kevin Barron Chair, Standards and Privileges Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Health

(1) what estimate he has made of the cost to the NHS of obesity and obesity-related conditions in (a) 2012, (b) 2015 and (c) 2020;

(2) what estimate he has made of the cost to the economy of obesity in (a) 2012, (b) 2015 and (c) 2020.

Photo of Anne Milton Anne Milton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The Department has not undertaken an assessment of the estimated cost of obesity to the national health service and the economy. However, a recent analysis of the economic burden of a range of risk factors for chronic disease estimated that overweight and obesity now cost the NHS £5.1 billion per year.

The Foresight team which is part of the Government Office for Science published “Tackling Obesities: Future Choices” in 2007. The Foresight team estimated the cost of obesity and overweight to society and the economy were almost £16 billion in 2007, with a potential to rise to just under £50 billion in 2050 if the increase in obesity rates were to continue unchecked.

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