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Obesity prevention is not working. We are dealing with a growing problem

MedExpress Team

Piotr Wójcik

Published Feb. 29, 2024 13:32

Obesity prevention is not working. We are dealing with a growing problem - Header image
fot. Piotr Wójcik
Up to 9 million people in Poland may be affected by obesity, the Supreme Audit Office estimates. Between 2020 and 2022, almost 800,000 patients were treated in POZ and AOS for this reason in our country, who received a total of 2.2 million services. In three years, the number of patients increased by half. The number of services provided for obesity-related disease increased by more than 40 percent. That we have a serious problem no one doubts. The questions are more about why prevention is inefficient and what needs to change to reverse the disturbing trend.

Data obtained during the audit showed that in 2022 overweight and obesity affected, depending on the province, about 60-70 percent of the population. According to OECD data, each year about 1.5 million hospitalizations are related to obesity, and treatment of the disease and its complications consumes ⅕ of the health care budget.

Social Security data show that between 2012 and 2022, Social Security Fund expenditures on benefits resulting from an inability to work due to a diagnosis of obesity increased from about PLN 22 million to nearly PLN 31 million. Obesity is also associated with absenteeism from work and lower employee productivity. In 10 years, the number of days absent from work due to obesity has increased more than sevenfold, i.e. from about 28,000 to almost 206,000, while expenses for this purpose have increased 12-fold, i.e. from about PLN 1.7 million to almost PLN 21 million. According to OECD estimates, within 30 years our country will lose about PLN 108 billion (4.1 percent of GDP) due to obesity-related diseases, i.e...

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