Smoking and obesity each cost the world more than drug use and car wrecks combined

Smoking is a bigger burden on the world economy than armed violence, war, and terrorism, according to a new report from the McKinsey Global Institute. And obesity isn’t too far behind smoking or violence, war, and terrorism in terms of social costs. The report, which looked at the available research and World Health Organization data, ranked the estimated annual impact of different social burdens on the global economy and investment in this chart: (McKinsey Global Institute) The analysis accounts for both public and private efforts to mitigate these different social burdens, as well the economic productivity lost due to disabilities and early deaths. Smoking; armed violence, war, and terrorism; and obesity easily top the chart, with alcoholism, illiteracy, and other issues trailing behind.


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