Assessing the Effectiveness, Economic Benefits, and Social & Economic Impact of Obesity Prevention and Reduction Reforms

Cite As:
Klein Rinat, Getz Daphne, Shoham Avida, Tziperfal Sima, Caspi Nadav, Pais Shani. Assessing the Effectiveness, Economic Benefits, and Social & Economic Impact of Obesity Prevention and Reduction Reforms Haifa Israel: Samuel Neaman Institute, 2024.

As of 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that over a billion individuals globally are grappling with obesity, encompassing 650 million adults, 340 million adolescents, and 39 million children. This figure is on a relentless upward trajectory, and Israel is not exempt from this concerning trend. Like numerous nations worldwide, Israel is confronting the pervasive issue of obesity across all demographic segments, with over half of its population contending with varying degrees of overweight and obesity.

The challenge of obesity in Israel is particularly pronounced within socioeconomically disadvantaged communities, including the ultra-Orthodox and Arab populations, as well as among children and the elderly.

The economic toll of obesity in Israel is staggering, estimated at approximately 20.2 billion NIS annually, constituting around 4.1% of the gross national product. This financial burden encompasses direct costs to the healthcare system as well as indirect losses primarily stemming from diminished productivity.

This study delves into the nexus between obesity prevention, socioeconomic leadership, and the imperative to narrow societal disparities. It scrutinizes the landscape of reforms, regulations, and intervention initiatives at both national and local levels across four benchmark countries: England, Australia, Canada, and Denmark. These countries were selected following a comprehensive review of pertinent literature, in tandem with consultations with experts from Joint-Ashelim and the Ministry of Health.

Furthermore, the study entails a rigorous examination of the return on investment (ROI) associated with select intervention programs from Israel and other global contexts, drawing upon evaluation studies to gauge their efficacy. This endeavor aims to assess the viability of allocating resources towards interventions aimed at curbing obesity on both community and national scales.

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