A recent report from the OECD has shown an increase in Israel’s obesity statistics. The report shows that 50.9% of Israelis are overweight, and 35% of them are children. The report also shares that the additional weight might be the cause for shortening their lifespan, by about 3.3 years.
For the half of Israelis who are overweight, this amount has remained fairly consistent over the past years; however the obesity rate has increased slightly to 27%. Israeli medical costs and healthcare costs related to weight issues total an annual NIS 39 billion per year. These numbers influence and cause Israel’s final GDP to suffer lowering it about 3%.
While Israel does serve up a somewhat healthy Mediterranean diet, a lack of education and exercise and an increase in screens and sedentary lifestyle might be the root of the issue at hand. Excessive weight is dangerous, as it makes one more prone to chronic diseases such as diabetes or cancer. Obesity and being overweight has a large impact on health and illness.
The Ministry of Labor, Welfare and Health in Israel has implemented a nutritional food label regulation, effective towards prepackaged food items. As of January 2020, companies will be made to place a red label on any package to inform consumers of high levels of saturated fat, salt or sugar. Awareness and education are the first steps to change, and it’s in the interest of the municipal system to support the public’s healthier lifestyles, education and eating, in order to ensure that healthcare costs do not skyrocket.