A recent study has identified that poor diets cost the NHS almost twice as much as the combined effect of alcohol and cigarettes.
The research, which was conducted by the WHO and Oxford University, concluded that, of the various lifestyle choices, poor diet and obesity now place the biggest economic load on the NHS.
Whilst experts acknowledged that the health risks associated with excess drinking and smoking are high, because a much higher proportion of the population have unhealthy diets, the overall impact on the NHS is much larger.
Whilst the proportion of adults that smoke has fallen by 50% in the last 40 years, the levels of obesity have increased four-fold, with 25% of adults now considered obese.
Poor diet and obesity have been linked to a number of different diseases including, most cancers, heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
The problem is being blamed on the erosion of basic cookery skills and an over-reliance on junk food. The average diet now contains excess levels of sugar and fat and this has increased the risk of acquiring many diseases.
For many people, the issue is that they eat too much and this leads to obesity which is related to a variety of health issues. However, there are also those who look healthy and slim, yet the fat and salt content in their diet places them at high risk of heart disease, stroke and other health conditions associated with elevated blood pressure
The research, which was financed by the British Heart Foundation, estimates that the cost of alcohol related diseases is £3.3bn, which is roughly the same as the cost of treatments associated with alcohol.
A spokesperson for the National Obesity Form explained that the staggering cost of managing diseases related to Britain’s poor diets was threatening to breach NHS budgets.
Those looking to improve their cookery skills can book themselves onto a cookery course.