One-third of Canadian adults will be obese by 2025, costing the country $33.7B annually

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NBHC Sustainability
October 11, 2017

A report from the World Obesity Federation predicts that more than 10 million Canadians will be obese or overweight by 2025. The report estimates the global cost of treating obesity-related illnesses will be $1.5 trillion annually beginning in 2025, when an estimated 2.7 billion people - a third of Earth's population - will be overweight or obese people. For Canada, 34% of people over 18 years of age will live with obesity in eight years. Treating health problems caused by the excessive weight will cost the country $33.7 billion each year. Between 2017 and 2025, the total cost of treating those illnesses will be $260 billion. The report suggests the rising cost of treating comorbidities can be reduced be investing in obesity prevention. It says Canada could reduce the percentage of obese or overweight adults from 34% to 29% by investing $4.2 billion in treating obesity, and calls on countries to spend more on providing treatment services to people already living with obesity, along with early intervention and prevention. WOF adds that the costs for treatment should be covered by the healthcare system and/or insurance companies, and that there should be clear ways of accessing medical professionals, pharmaceuticals and medical devices. The report pointed out that anti-obesity medications aren't covered by any provincial or territorial drug benefit plan, and that there are "very few' medically supervised weight-management programs, and they often cost thousands of dollars. It also indicates that only 40 Canadian physicians have formal training and certification to address obesity and weight management.

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