According to reinsurer Swiss Re, our expanding waistlines should be matched with fatter insurance premiums. It has warned insurers to factor in a customer's risk of becoming obese in later life when premiums are set.
UK health officials are becoming increasingly concerned about the level of obesity in the UK. The number of obese children has doubled in 20 years.
Fat" has been a cause-celebre for feminists, but it is now causing increasing concern among life insurers. Insurers currently factor in someone's weight, in terms of their Body Mass Index (BMI) when they apply for life insurance. BMI is calculated by dividing a person's weight in kilograms by the square of their height in metres.
It is a measure of a person's build. Life insurers typically use "build ratings" to assess the risks relating to high levels of BMI before accepting applications for cover.
Obesity is defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a BMI greater than 30.
But insurers rarely factor in someone's chances of becoming fat in later life, report BBC. Fat children face rising life insurance premiums in adulthood as insurers charge for the growing impact of obesity on life expectancy, it emerged yesterday.
Swiss Re, the reinsurer, released a report yesterday recommending that insurers take into account a customer’s likelihood of becoming obese when pricing life insurance. The report - Too big to ignore: the impact of obesity on mortality trends - found that obesity was slowing the global improvement in mortality rates brought about by better medical treatment, inform timesonline.co.uk
According to guardian.co.uk For the number-crunchers who have the job of estimating the risk that someone will die before their policy expires, the maths is clear. Studies in the US have shown that a 10% increase in weight is correlated with a 30% rise in the incidence of heart disease. For a 40-year-old, non-smoking woman, being obese knocks eight years off life expectancy. For a 40-year-old man, the deficit is six years.
While the government wrestles to find the right policy approach, the private sector is responding with entrepreneurial zeal to mounting evidence of the health impact of obesity.
McDonald's has begun to sell salads and pieces of fruit alongside its burgers and fries, to cash in on the public's desire to fight the fat (and deflect charges that it should share some of the blame for childhood obesity). Dr Atkins's estate has continued to bank the proceeds from his best selling Diet Revolution books even after leaked medical records revealed that the man himself was obese when he died.