Obesity Saves Taxpayers £4 Billion a Year
I know what you are thinking, I must have mistyped the title and actually meant “costs” rather than saves taxpayers. Well, dear reader, the title is correct. The Institute of Economic Affairs claims in a controversial report that obese people save the Exchequer nearly £4 billion a year. This is due to early deaths associated with the condition, the amount that is spent on pensions, healthcare and benefits drops significantly. This same report also claims that type 1 and 2 diabetes, which are usually included in previous financial forecasts should not be included as these are not necessarily caused by obesity. According to this study, obesity treatment is representative of only 0.3% of public spending.
Now is this good news for the obese, no of course it isn’t. Indeed, this study shows that the early deaths are what is saving the money. Folk should not be considering saving the government money by getting fat and dying young. However, it does show that fat people have been used as scapegoats for the real issue regarding public health and finance. That is to say that on average we are living longer and it is costing more.
I work with people who struggle with their weight, guilting and shaming them is one of the things that bring them here. Rather than doing this, the time has come for an adult debate about our public health and how we are a people can deal with the long life cost differential and ensure that all of our citizens life their lives in as happy and healthy a way as possible.