Britain’s obesity crisis is costing UK nearly £100billion a year and will ruin Rishi Sunak’s plans to get the sick back to work, analysis suggests

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Written By Rivera Claudia

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  • Ministers being urged to crackdown on junk food with smoking-style restrictions

Britain’s bulging waistline is costing nearly £100 billion a year and will ruin Rishi Sunak’s plan to get the sick back to work, analysis suggests.

The country’s obesity problem is making the nation ‘sick and impoverished’, the Government’s former food adviser Henry Dimbleby says, with two-thirds of Brits overweight.

Ministers are being urged by Mr Dimbleby to crackdown on junk food by imposing smoking-style restrictions warning the figures are a ‘disaster’ and the NHS will ‘suck the money out of the other public services’.

Obesity-related illness is estimated to be costing the NHS £19.2billion a year with productivity losses at around £15.1 billion.

The total cost is estimated to be a crippling £98billion with the added £63billion due to shorter, unhealthier lives, according to figures seen by The Times.

The country’s obesity problem is making the nation ‘sick and impoverished’, the Government’s former food adviser Henry Dimbleby says (stock image)

Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaking during Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs), in the House of Commons

Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs), in the House of Commons

That figure is expected to expand by a further £10 billion over the next 15 years as the population gets older and could leave future governments ‘crippled’.

The new figures have come to light after the Tony Blair Institute commissioned Frontier Economics to update analysis from 2020.

Hermione Dace, of the Tony Blair Institute, said: ‘We need a fresh approach to give people real options, rebalancing the food system in favour of healthy, cost-effective choices and disincentivising profiteering from ultra-processed and junk food.’

A ban on junk food adverts after 9pm and buy one-get-one free deals on unhealthy foods has long been mooted but has been delayed until 2025.

A Department of Health spokesman insisted it was ‘taking firm action to tackle obesity’.

Obesity-related illness is estimated to be costing the NHS £19.2billion a year with productivity losses at around £15.1 billion (stock image)

Obesity-related illness is estimated to be costing the NHS £19.2billion a year with productivity losses at around £15.1 billion (stock image)

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