Obesity in Scotland costs around £475m a year

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SCIENTISTS in Scotland have devised a formula revealing the cost of excessive weight gain: each 7lb an adult puts on produces a £16 bill for taxpayers.

Glasgow University researchers examined the toll on the public purse of seriously obese people, with the most obese costing £700 a year to treat.

The figure, for those with a Body Mass Index of 40 or more, compares with a £300 average cost for those with a BMI of around 25. An ideal BMI is between 21 and 22, and the cost of obesity in Scotland is estimated to be £475 million annually.

The study, published in the International Journal of Obesity, concludes: “Each unit increase in BMI is associated with a £16 higher annual healthcare cost, after adjusting for sex, age, smoking, alcohol consumption and physical activity level.”

Dr William Tigbe, who led the research, said knowing the cost of increasing BMI reinforced the need to tackle obesity.