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Health and Economic Impacts of Overweight/Obesity


Schneider, Pia; Popkin, Barry M.; Shekar, Meera; Eberwein, Julia Dayton; Block, Charlotte; & Okamura, Kyoko Shibata (2020). Health and Economic Impacts of Overweight/Obesity.. Shekar, Meera & Popkin, Barry M. (Eds.) (pp. 69-94). Washington, D.C.: The World Bank.


Asserts that being overweight/obese puts an individual at higher risk of morbidity and mortality from non-communicable diseases (NCDs), leaving overweight/obesity-related NCDs among the top-three killers in every region of the world except Sub-Saharan Africa. Low- and middle-income country contexts, which include weak health care systems already burdened with high prevalence of infectious disease, create additional challenges to preventing and treating the health consequences of overweight and obesity. An overweight or obese status reduces productivity and increases absenteeism, disability rates, and the risk of earlier retirement. Growing health care costs linked to increasing overweight/obesity rates prove a trend across both the developed and developing world, and there exist climate co-benefits to changing food systems to promote healthier diets. Prevention of overweight/obesity therefore makes sense from a public finance perspective, and governments can assist in this effort by ensuring consumers remain informed about their health and the consequences of their dietary and lifestyle choices.


Reference Type

Book Section

Year Published


Series Title

Human Development Perspectives Series


Schneider, Pia
Popkin, Barry M.
Shekar, Meera
Eberwein, Julia Dayton
Block, Charlotte
Okamura, Kyoko Shibata