London  - The worldwide cost of obesity is about the same as smoking or armed conflict and greater than both alcoholism and climate change, research has suggested.
The McKinsey Global Institute said it cost £1.3 ton, or 2.8 percent of annual economic activity - it cost the UK £47bn. Some 2.1bn people - about 30 percent of the world’s population - were overweight or obese, the researchers added. They said measures that relied less on individual responsibility should be used to tackle the problem. The report said there was a ‘steep economic toll’, and the proportion could rise to almost half of the world’s population by 2030. The financial costs of obesity are growing - for health care and more widely in the economy. By causing illness, obesity results in working days and output lost.  The researchers argued that a range of ambitious policies needed to be considered and a systemic rather than piecemeal response was essential.