According to the Discovery Vitality OBEcity index for 2017, which presents insights on weight status and food purchasing behavior of Vitality members across six South African cities, the impact of obesity is not only limited to the health of individuals but the economy too. The study covers the cities of Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban, Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth.
Obesity costs the global economy R16.4trn, which is roughly equal to the impact of smoking and wars. It costs the South African economy R701bn. It impacts productivity, which costs the economy R109bn each year. Increased absenteeism costs the South African economy R47bn, according to the report.
Other costs include increased medical spend, related to out-of-pocket healthcare costs, which amount to R124bn each year globally. Global figures also show that daily expenses cost obese people an additional R31bn.
Globally, statistics show that overweight women are predicted to earn 11% less than women of a healthy weight.