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Obesity Costs Soaring to $2 Trillion

Update Date: Nov 20, 2014 10:45 AM EST

A new study reported that the worldwide cost of obesity is already more than $2 trillion, which is around the same as smoking or armed conflict and higher than alcoholism and climate change. According to the researchers from the McKinsey Global Institute, around 30 percent of the world's population, which is about 2.1 billion people, are overweight or obese.

For this report, the researchers had examined 44 ways to combat obesity. Some of these methods include introducing healthy meals at school, encouraging physical activity and increasing parental education. They concluded that there is no one intervention that all governments can use to combat obesity.

Instead, governments, healthcare systems, food and beverage manufacturers, and retailers must work with one another to find ways that can effectively reduce the future rate of overweight or obese people. The team added that if drastic measures are not taken to combat obesity, the percentage of obese people living in the world could increase to 50 percent by 2030.

"Obesity is a systemic issue, born of many interlocking factors, and only a systemic response will do," said Richard Dobbs, director of the McKinsey Global Institute, according to the Daily Mail.

Dr. Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England (PHE), commented according to BBC News, "The report is a useful contribution to the obesity debate. PHE has consistently said that simple education messages alone are not enough to tackle obesity."

The report, "How the world could better fight obesity," can be accessed here.

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