Obesity Epidemic Could Cripple the NHS

Friday 12th February 2010

It’s nothing new to hear that there are increasing concerns over the amount of obesity cases within the UK but with the risk of other health complications alongside it the worry lies in the amount of money obesity is eating away at. The latest figures to be released by the NHS show a shocking amount of obesity cases within the UK with one in four adults thought to fall into the obese category.

In the years 2008 – 2009 a total of 7,990 patients were hospitalised with obesity being the primary cause. Further prescriptions of 1.28 million obesity medications were given out last year which is an increase by ten fold on the 1999 figures. Equally, the number of stomach stapling surgeries has doubled in two years to a staggering 4,220 performed last year alone. The health implications of obesity can be dramatic with the increased risk of diabetes but also other seriously life-threating conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, blindness, kidney disease and even amputations. Therefore, the ever-increasing amount of obese people within the UK alone is severely taking its toll on NHS funding not just due to their obesity but the side-effects of this condition.

With these latest statistics many people are pointing the finger at the Government suggesting they have been too complacent with the issue which has resulted in the deaths of many patients and an impact on the NHS budget. Equally, a study released by the Foods Standard Agency shows what little the Government have done with their healthy eating advert campaigns have had very little affect on peoples eating habits. With the adverts promoting the consumption of fruit and vegetables the study shows that within the UK only 15% of teenagers and 35% of adults are actually achieving this amount. And with weight loss procedures available on the NHS being limited to save funds, it is clear someone needs to act and fast.

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