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To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has made an estimate of the likely cost to the economy of illness, economic inactivity and premature death associated with obesity since June 2012; what discussions (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have had on that matter since June 2012; and if he will make a statement.
The Department has not undertaken a recent assessment of the estimated cost of obesity to the economy. However, the Foresight team which is part of the Government Office for Science, published ‘Tackling Obesities: Future Choices’ in 2007. The Foresight team estimated the costs of overweight and obesity to society and the economy at almost £16 billion in 2007, based on obesity prevalence at the time.
Ministers are concerned about the impact of overweight and obesity on the economy and meet weekly with officials, Public Health England and others to discuss this issue.