Is the lifestyle choice of obesity the biggest cost to the NHS?

Watch
Howbeit
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 7 years ago
#1
Lately I've seen a lot in the news in how obesity is dramatically increasing and costing the NHS around 4bn a year, and set to rise. The cost of the NHS is around 110bn a year at the moment and I was considering whether there's any lifestyle choice which costs more than obesity.

I don't want to draw a comparison on the overall cost of any activity and its cost on the NHS but the activity with the highest individual risk of costing the NHS money. Let me give an example, if we take one person from the following categories: an obese person, an alcoholic, a smoker, a dangerous sports enthusiast, a motorcyclist could you say whether the obese person is most likely to cost the NHS money over any other lifestyle choice?

Obese people receive a lot of criticism for their cost on the NHS, so I was just considering whether any other lifestyle choice is just as bad or worse. I hope this makes sense; and I would also like to emphasise I'm aware obesity for some people isn't something they can change (perhaps due to genes or an illness which makes it very difficult to exercise).
0
reply
DanB1991
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#2
Report 7 years ago
#2
Tbh they should be treated like smokers....

Forced to eat outside. I don't my children, friends and family decide on that lifestyle choice because it seems so acceptable.

Seriously the health concerns and strain on the NHS alone we should make it more of a stigma. The sad fact many people see no problem with being obese. Then we get told guilt stories how the minority are fat because they where teased... for being fat.
1
reply
Okkefac
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#3
Report 7 years ago
#3
I think it depends on what we're counting as obese...I understand over a certain BMI you're counted as obese (I'm in that scale, barely, I'm bordering on overweight) but many people who are in the obese section aren't costing a thing for the NHS, and shouldn't be treated as one of those unhealthy groups. (I'm not trying to lecture you OP, you seem to have asked this question with genuine curiosity as opposed to being one of people who thinks obese people are the scum of the Earth- hope I'm not wrong!). Obviously once you get to some levels it becomes a massive problem (mind the pun) so I'm assuming it's the extremely obese people who can barely walk and such who are considered the health risk?

I'm just procrastinating coursework, but if I had more time I'd look into the figures, but surely smoking must cost more than 4bn if the overall is 110bn? I would have thought, or alcohol/harmful drugs in general. Could be wrong though.
0
reply
Howbeit
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#4
Report Thread starter 7 years ago
#4
(Original post by Okkefac)
I think it depends on what we're counting as obese...I understand over a certain BMI you're counted as obese (I'm in that scale, barely, I'm bordering on overweight) but many people who are in the obese section aren't costing a thing for the NHS, and shouldn't be treated as one of those unhealthy groups. (I'm not trying to lecture you OP, you seem to have asked this question with genuine curiosity as opposed to being one of people who thinks obese people are the scum of the Earth- hope I'm not wrong!). Obviously once you get to some levels it becomes a massive problem (mind the pun) so I'm assuming it's the extremely obese people who can barely walk and such who are considered the health risk?

I'm just procrastinating coursework, but if I had more time I'd look into the figures, but surely smoking must cost more than 4bn if the overall is 110bn? I would have thought, or alcohol/harmful drugs in general. Could be wrong though.
I was actually in a debate with someone and I said how choosing or being overweight might not be any different to choosing a different activity which is considered 'accepted' yet still costs the NHS the same or more than an obese individual might. I'm not overweight but I don't have anything against those who are! People should feel free to be whatever size they want and not be ridiculed for it; I do take the opinion it's not good to be obese though because you are damaging your health.
0
reply
Mackay
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#5
Report 7 years ago
#5
For some being obese isn't a lifestyle choice. Not all, admittedly, but some.
0
reply
carriesouthcott
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#6
Report 7 years ago
#6
Cardiovascular disease is the biggest killer in the uk. It costs the NHS more each year than drugs and alcohol related conditions combined.

So yes it is.


Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
Howbeit
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#7
Report Thread starter 7 years ago
#7
(Original post by carriesouthcott)
Cardiovascular disease is the biggest killer in the uk. It costs the NHS more each year than drugs and alcohol related conditions combined.

So yes it is.


Posted from TSR Mobile
You're missing the point I was trying to make clear. I don't want to measure this by the overall cost of any activity but the individual risk of any activity costing the NHS. For example, if we're trying to work out if obesity or smoking is the biggest risk to health it would be wrong to say smoking costs the NHS 5bn a year compared to obesity which costs 3bn and concluding smoking is worse if the amount of people in each group is vastly different.
0
reply
455409
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#8
Report 7 years ago
#8
I don't really care. The NHS could cost twice as much as it does now. No big deal to me. My happiness and fullfillment in life does not come from the national budget being lower than it was the previous year.
0
reply
mikeyd85
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#9
Report 7 years ago
#9
(Original post by Okkefac)
II understand over a certain BMI you're counted as obese
The problem with BMI, is that this guy:

Spoiler:
Show
Image


is counted as obese.

Now, you can tell him that his BMI is too high, therefore he is obese... I am not going anywhere near that.
0
reply
Rakas21
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#10
Report 7 years ago
#10
(Original post by RobertWhite)
Lately I've seen a lot in the news in how obesity is dramatically increasing and costing the NHS around 4bn a year, and set to rise. The cost of the NHS is around 110bn a year at the moment and I was considering whether there's any lifestyle choice which costs more than obesity.

I don't want to draw a comparison on the overall cost of any activity and its cost on the NHS but the activity with the highest individual risk of costing the NHS money. Let me give an example, if we take one person from the following categories: an obese person, an alcoholic, a smoker, a dangerous sports enthusiast, a motorcyclist could you say whether the obese person is most likely to cost the NHS money over any other lifestyle choice?

Obese people receive a lot of criticism for their cost on the NHS, so I was just considering whether any other lifestyle choice is just as bad or worse. I hope this makes sense; and I would also like to emphasise I'm aware obesity for some people isn't something they can change (perhaps due to genes or an illness which makes it very difficult to exercise).
I'd wager that it probably does given that (and it's the same with smoking), it's not the actual activity which costs the NHS but the diseases that arise from it. Smoking does cause lung cancer and heart disease but then obesity causes heart disease, diabetes and is linked to some cancers. Purely from the number of spin offs i'd wager it costs the most. The motorcyclist would probably be in hospital most often though even if for minor injuries.
0
reply
Rakas21
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#11
Report 7 years ago
#11
(Original post by james1211)
I don't really care. The NHS could cost twice as much as it does now. No big deal to me. My happiness and fullfillment in life does not come from the national budget being lower than it was the previous year.
If we took that logic to the extreme to justify higher spending then I wonder how happy you'd be when the state puts a 60% tax on your income.
0
reply
Algorithm69
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#12
Report 7 years ago
#12
(Original post by RobertWhite)
You're missing the point I was trying to make clear. I don't want to measure this by the overall cost of any activity but the individual risk of any activity costing the NHS. For example, if we're trying to work out if obesity or smoking is the biggest risk to health it would be wrong to say smoking costs the NHS 5bn a year compared to obesity which costs 3bn and concluding smoking is worse if the amount of people in each group is vastly different.
Percentage of smokers in UK: 19.3%
Cost to NHS per year: £2.7 billion

Percentage of obese people in the UK: 26%
Cost to NHS per year: £5 billion

I don't know if this is what you wanted but there you go.
0
reply
455409
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#13
Report 7 years ago
#13
(Original post by Rakas21)
If we took that logic to the extreme to justify higher spending then I wonder how happy you'd be when the state puts a 60% tax on your income.
Huh? I didn't say it was a logic. I just said IDC if the NHS has to spend more money on fixing peoples lifestyle choices because freedom of choice in our lifestyle is the pinnacle of happiness to me.
0
reply
Tom78
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#14
Report 7 years ago
#14
Yesterday I read that something like 2/3 of adults are obese and one third of children!? Wtf!

Fatties should be made a point of like Piggy in Lord of the Flies.
0
reply
Rakas21
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#15
Report 7 years ago
#15
(Original post by james1211)
Huh? I didn't say it was a logic. I just said IDC if the NHS has to spend more money on fixing peoples lifestyle choices because freedom of choice in our lifestyle is the pinnacle of happiness to me.
Yes I understood that and it's a fair choice. But if we took it to the extreme then I was making the point that rampant obesity, smoking ect.. would eventually require the state to increase taxation thereby restricting your potential happiness since it would de facto restrict your choices.

The preservation of liberty is important, but that's no reason not to exercise budgetary restraint.
0
reply
Rakas21
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#16
Report 7 years ago
#16
(Original post by Tom78)
Yesterday I read that something like 2/3 of adults are obese and one third of children!? Wtf!

Fatties should be made a point of like Piggy in Lord of the Flies.
That's overweight or obese. We're one of the fattest nations on the planet.
0
reply
455409
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#17
Report 7 years ago
#17
(Original post by Rakas21)
Yes I understood that and it's a fair choice. But if we took it to the extreme then I was making the point that rampant obesity, smoking ect.. would eventually require the state to increase taxation thereby restricting your potential happiness since it would de facto restrict your choices.

The preservation of liberty is important, but that's no reason not to exercise budgetary restraint.
There are other ways for the government to make money, than taxes.
0
reply
Algorithm69
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#18
Report 7 years ago
#18
(Original post by james1211)
Huh? I didn't say it was a logic. I just said IDC if the NHS has to spend more money on fixing peoples lifestyle choices because freedom of choice in our lifestyle is the pinnacle of happiness to me.
You could completely dismantle the NHS and people could still have exactly the same lifestyle choices.
0
reply
Tom78
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#19
Report 7 years ago
#19
Would any sensible people miss fast food if it was banned? It all tastes of **** anyway.
0
reply
Rakas21
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#20
Report 7 years ago
#20
(Original post by Tom78)
Would any sensible people miss fast food if it was banned? It all tastes of **** anyway.
Interestingly Indonesia apparently voted to limit the number of fast food restaurants to protect local business. I wonder if this might be a route to go down.

I polled last year and the people of TSR were against such a measure but I wonder if it may gain support over time.

http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=2269765
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Poll: What factors affect your mental health most right now? Post-lockdown edition

Anxiousness about restrictions easing (26)
5.68%
Uncertainty around my education (52)
11.35%
Uncertainty around my future career prospects (55)
12.01%
Lack of purpose or motivation (61)
13.32%
Lack of support system (eg. teachers, counsellors, delays in care) (24)
5.24%
Impact lockdown had on physical health (20)
4.37%
Social worries (incl. loneliness/making friends) (46)
10.04%
Financial worries (28)
6.11%
Concern about myself or my loves ones getting/having been ill (19)
4.15%
Exposure to negative news/social media (30)
6.55%
Difficulty accessing real life entertainment (14)
3.06%
Lack of confidence in making big life decisions (45)
9.83%
Worry about missed opportunities during the pandemic (38)
8.3%

Watched Threads

View All