Sunday, 31 March 2013

Shrinking economy; Increasing waistlines

By Krupa Popat

Britain’s economy is shrinking but  its health problems are certainly not.

With 25.1% of women obese and 32.3% of women overweight, 24% of men obese and a staggering 42% of men overweight, weight problems are amongst the highest costs for the government to fund through the NHS.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, statistics show that between the years of 2006 – 2010 (during some of the hardest times due to the onset of the recession), the most obese were those who had the lowest income. This could be linked to the fact that unemployment was on the rise. As Marx’s theory said, “the reserve army of labour fight amongst themselves for scarce jobs at lower and lower wages”.  Inflation increasing didn't help, as people who are on job seekers allowance or have low disposable income cannot afford the rocket prices of food, which is inelastic. Many people are sacrificing being healthy because they can only eat what they can afford, which is more fatty foods.

 “Obesity is associated with a range of health problems including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. The resulting NHS costs attributable to overweight and obesity are projected to reach £9.7 billion by 2050, with wider costs to society estimated to reach £49.9 billion per year (Foresight 2007). These factors combine to make the prevention of obesity a major public health challenge.”

As the government is cutting back on spending to save money, it seems like they’re spending just as much because of it…


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