Current and future costs of obesity in Sweden

Andersson E, Eliasson B, Steen Carlsson K

Obesity is a growing health issue. This study estimated the costs of obesity among people aged 25-84 years in Sweden using disease and non-disease specific attributable fractions from published data. A prognosis of costs of obesity in 2030 is presented.

Diseases related to obesity and their respective risks and population attributable fraction were retrieved by literature review. Longitudinal data on age and sex related prevalence of obesity was used to construct three scenarios for costs of obesity in 2030.

Nearly 4% of all deaths among people 25-84 years in 2016 (n=3400) were attributed to obesity. Obesity cost EUR 2.7 billion in 2016, or EUR 377 per inhabitant aged =25 years. Non-health care costs were dominant and represented 80% of total societal costs. Main drivers were premature mortality (28%) and permanent sick leave (37%). If the proportion of obese remain at 2016 level, costs will increase 9% by 2030, but with continued linear growth, costs will increase by 66%.

The responsibility, costs, and treatment fall on several actors with a considerable burden falling on the individual and the society at large. New health promoting interventions and policy programs are needed and must be evaluated in terms of resource use and expected return.

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Previously published report:
Andersson E, Welin K-O & Steen Carlsson K
Kostnader för fetma i Sverige idag och år 2030 (in Swedish)
IHE Rapport 2018:3, IHE: Lund, Sverige

Health Policy, 2022; 126(6): 558-564