A new report has highlighted the worrying trend in the increase in the number of obese citizens there are in Spain and the impact it is having on the national health service bill.
The latest findings were published in a report titled 'Approach to obesity and bariatric surgery', which was backed by the Spanish Society of Obesity Surgery (SECO) and the Spanish Society for the Study of Obesity (SEEDO-SEO).
The report suggests that over 18 Million people in the country are now classed as either overweight, 39.3% or obese, 21.6% putting a massive strain on the country’s healthcare resources.
This is in comparison to the UK where obesity cases are at similar levels with 35.6% of adults overweight and 28.7% considered to be obese.
Adults who are classed as overweight will have a BMI greater than or equal to 25, with those who are obese, a BMI greater than or equal to 30.
The data also indicates that the alarming trend is more pronounced in men than in women with 25 to 64 year olds more likely to be overweight.
It is now thought that the cost to the national health bill, which is attributed to obesity related conditions is more than €2.8 Billion or approximately 20% of the national healthcare bill. This figure also represents 7% of national expenditure.
Experts believe that the cost of healthcare for a person suffering from obesity can be more than three times higher than a person who has an optimal weight.
Being obese and having a high BMI is a major risk factor for a number noncommunicable diseases including cardiovascular disease, certain forms of cancer, diabetes and musculoskeletal disorders such as osteoarthritis.
The World Health Organisation believe that obesity is now at global epidemic levels having nearly tripled since 1975. It says that there are now around 2 Billion people globally who are considered to be overweight with 650 Million being classed as obese.