Lifestyle Economics

No, Obesity is Not Fuelling Long-Term Unemployment

Christopher Snowdon writes for The Spectator

IEA Head of Lifestyle Economics Christopher Snowdon has written for The Spectator critiquing a new study which links the UK’s rising long-term unemployment to obesity.

Christopher wrote:

“Is obesity the ‘root cause’ of the problem? It seems unlikely. Despite obesity rates rising for several decades, there had been no increase in the number of people off work with long-term illness since the 1990s. Between 2000 and 2019, the number actually fell – from 2.3 million to 2 million, but since 2020 another 800,000 people have suddenly joined their ranks.

“A 40 per cent increase in the number of people permanently signed off sick in the space of just four years requires some serious thinking. Instead, the co-author of this study says that we need to place restrictions on ‘ultra-processed food’ and the Labour party says that it will ban ‘junk food ads targeted at children’.”

Read Christopher’s full piece here.