The Correlation of Obesity and Economy

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Arguably there are a number of social issues affecting contemporary society. Some of these issues, though personal, likely affect the entire population in the long run. Obesity is one of these issues. Obesity is becoming more prevalent with each passing day and this qualifies it to a health issue (Premmel, et al., 2017). Obesity is explained as a physical condition, which involves excess fat accumulation in the body. Nonetheless, the current state of the world in terms of feeding habits and food security does not help the situation (Reynolds, 2017). There are more fast-food joints than markets dealing with fresh fruits and vegetables. Based on the common law of demand and supply, one can deduce that fast food products are in higher demand as compared to fruits and vegetables. These fast foods have high levels of fats and cholesterol which is the leading cause of obesity. This condition makes an individual fat or overweight. Most diseases are associated with obesity. An example of these diseases includes cancer, hypertension, and other cardiovascular and chronic diseases. A lot of resources go to the treatment of these illnesses either from the government through health policies or from the individual. These resources would have been put to other projects if only the source of the infection was controlled or eliminated. This paper focuses on determining the global economic implications of obesity.

Obesity is no longer an individual problem but rather a global one. The high and fast-rising levels of obesity are a threat to the global economy. According to research, over 30% of the population in the world is obese (Premmel, et al., 2017). To understand the health implications of these issues, over five percent of the contemporary deaths are associated with obesity. With the rate of unhealthy feeding and living styles, researchers predict a continued increase in obesity levels and say that by 2030, over fifty percent of the entire global population will be affected by obesity (Premmel, et al., 2017). Despite the health implications to the individual, this scourge presents an economic burden to the individual, families, the society and the governments. For example, in the year 2014, over 2 trillion United States Dollars was used worldwide to fight obesity-related complications (Dobbs, et al., 2014). These figures show that this is a common problem that people spend huge sums of money controlling. Nonetheless, this rate will logically continue to grow based on the current living standards. People do not rely on home cooked food, as they are busy in places of work to find time to cook. It is also a common trend for families to order pizza and other high-fat products instead of consuming less harmful foods such as fruits and vegetables. Lack of exercise due to busy schedules or even laziness is another reason why the obesity levels will certainly rise. Children are introduced to weaning foods at an early age as mothers are busy in offices or running businesses. Further, introduction of weaning foods before six months is another reason why the coming generation will use more funds to control obesity-related infections and diseases.

The cost of medication is constantly growing. Taking an example of the United States, which is among the leading countries in terms of obesity, over 2 trillion is spent on health care annually. The most common diseases in the United States are chronic infections and cancer (Nichols, 2017). In addition, the United States is the home to the biggest fast food stores in the name of McDonald's, Subway and Starbucks. According to Nichols, (2017), heart diseases contribute to the highest number of deaths in the country. This can be controlled by exercising health eating habits. The leading cause of heart disease is obesity. Thompson, (2017) provided that the United States spent over 555 billion dollars in the treatment of heart diseases and this cost is expected to rise to over one trillion dollars by 2035. This is just an example of the resources put aside to fight obesity-related disease in just the United States alone. The resources put in fighting obesity-related diseases can be put to other projects such as environmental conservation or food safety in affected areas. In addition, one could conclude that any cent put aside for fighting chronic or cardiovascular diseases because of obesity is a cent spent from the global economy that will never be regained.

Obesity-related infections have the highest mortality in the world. The growth of the global economy relies on human capital. Arguably, people are essential in revenue collection which is critical in the growth of the governments’ tax collections. If these people are dying out of obesity, it means that the revenue will be reduced hence reduced government collection in terms of taxes. Therefore, if the government cannot rely on collected taxes to feed its people, they are forced to turn to international loans from the International Monetary Fund and other countries. It follows that this negative consequence affects the global economy, as more loans are bad for any economy. Over taxation is also a likely outcome as the governments need to service these loans. An overtaxed economy leads to the growth of other vices such as corruption and other forms of crime. In addition, it can reasonably establish that this may also lead to inflation in the country. High levels of inflation weaken the economic state of the country as the country’s currency as compared to other countries. People are also essential in the creation of employment or employment opportunities. It follows that if these people are dying because of obesity, the country’s economy would likely suffer, as it will be drained off able brains and labor. According to Thompson, (2017), the population most affected by obesity are the youth. The global economy relies on the youth for development. If these youths succumb to diabetes or other obesity-related infections, it likely means that the global economy loses because it relies on them to produce capital and in other activities that boost economic growth.

According to a study by Reynolds, (2017), obese people are less productive as compared to normal weight people. They are unable to move fast in jobs that require agility or physical ability. In the business set up, this is a drawback especially if the organization is competing with companies that have a more mobile person in the same position. Other than in business competition, this is a drawback because the job that they do would have been done faster by a normal weight person. In other terms, obese people are found to be lazy in the office which affects the company's revenues and those of the globe in the long run. These people also ask for more sick-leaves as well as working fewer hours (Reynolds, 2017). They are found to complain more about tiredness as compared to normal weight employees. They ask for more breaks, either coffee breaks or lunch breaks than other office employees.

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These findings might not apply to all obese people but it is a common observation for most of them. Every minute that they do not spend working on their duties or in their stations is a minute, paid by the organization, but wasted. It is also a minute that the world has been essential for the organization, the country, and the world as long as achieving economic goals is concerned. This affects the country’s gross domestic product negatively Reynolds, (2017). The high cases witnessed as far as early retirement is concerned is also as a result of obesity. As already discussed, obesity is a causal factor for most of the diseases affecting the world population. Early retirement is mostly caused by health complications brought by obesity. The retirees rob off the company, the governments, and the world essential personnel for the growth of the global economy. It also increases the government's expenditure on taking care of the retirees as well as people admitted to hospital and clinics for obesity-related illnesses (Tremmel, 2017). To raise the GDP of a country, every citizen's input is essential and less mobile people are found to contribute less to others because a great percentage of whatever they produce goes to the health department as well as governments resources through government controlled health assistance.

Egger, et al., (2012), links obesity to environmental degradation. It is common knowledge now that the globe is focused on environmental conservation as well as sustainability efforts. Governments are spending resources in ensuring that there is a minimal carbon dioxide emission in the air and that the citizens’ activities promote sustainability. However, based on the high volumes of junk food consumed on a daily bases, it is safe to conclude that they are failing in these efforts. Most of the junk food is made from dairy milk products, products high on fat, sugar, salt, and meat. High consumption of these products leads to increased supply or high production (Reynolds, 2017); this affects the greenhouse gas emissions in an adverse way because farmers will rear more methane-producing livestock for milk and crops in a greenhouse. The greenhouse gases are contributing to the same vices that the governments are fighting. In addition, increased consumption translates to increased use of plastic products that not only require high levels of burnt fossils to produce but also degrades the environment. This does not even factor out the high fuel consumption rates required for the transportation of these products to the market (Reynolds, 2017). The international states will, therefore, continue pumping money in environmental conservation efforts as long as the intake of junk food continues increasing.

Nonetheless, obesity does not always bring negative implications in the global economy. According to Tremmel, (2017), there are over 2 billion overweight people in the world. These people spend thousands of dollars in their feeding program as well as in hospital expenses. On one hand, they positively contribute to economic growth through the resources they spend on buying junk food and other related materials. On the other hand, the government also collects revenue form hospitals treating these people. This means that they also contribute to the increased tax collection every time they visit a hospital or a clinic (Egger, et al., 2012). Even though the government sponsors most of the hospitals, a high number of diseases related to obesity are treated in private hospitals which governments do not support but collect taxes from.

Nonetheless, despite the positive effects of obesity, the negative implications outweigh them and it should be discouraged. Governments and by extension the global economy is clearly hurting from the effects of obesity and it is something that needs to be discouraged. One of the ways of discouraging obesity is by controlling the consumption of foods rich in sugar, salt, and fats by taxing them more (Tremmel, 2017). This approach has worked in countries such as Scotland, Spain, Hungary, and Germany among others (Reynolds, 2017).

In conclusion, this report focused on determining how obesity affects the global economy. It found that obesity is the leading cause of high mortality diseases in the world. It leads to increased government expenses in treating and caring for people with these diseases. The death of these people also negatively affects revenue collection and economic growth. Deaths due to obesity also reduce labor as human capital. Obese people are found to contribute less in a business organization as they ask for the highest number of sick-offs and breaks hence wasting a lot of time that would rather be used in achieving the firm's financial goals. Early retirements are also linked to obesity in the paper which by extension hurts the global economy. There is also a connection between obesity and environmental degradation; this is where the foods they consume contribute to high levels of greenhouse gases in the air, a vice the globe spends heavily in the fighting. Through their heavy consumption and capital spend in hospital, obesity also adds to taxation and revenue collection. Based on these findings, obesity hurts the global economy and can be stopped by controlling the consumption of foods that lead to obesity; this is by increasing taxation on products high on sugar, salt, and fats.

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The Correlation of Obesity and Economy. (2022, Jun 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 20, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-correlation-of-obesity-and-economy/
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