Obesity costing taxpayers millions, claim DWP figures

Taxpayers are handing over nearly £30 million a year to thousands of people who believe their weight problem prohibits them from working.

Reported by dailyrecord.co.uk, statistics from the Department of Work and Pensions suggest that a total of 7,080 people claimed £29.3 million in sickness benefits for obesity in the year to April 2012.

Overall, obesity costs more than £5 billion a year as expensive healthcare, equipment and carers are needed to treat those with weight problems.

However, the government is reportedly 'keen' to cut the welfare bill. As a result, those with weight issues may wish to seek avenues to treat their problem. Hypnotherapy courses, for example, can help uncover any root causes for the weight gain, as well as any other underlying issues.

Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, commented on the figures to dailymail.co.uk: "Obesity is costing taxpayers dear. Tackling the problem early is vital as it's not fair on the claimant or other taxpayers that someone is allowed to become dependent on benefits because of their weight.

"Ultimately people have to take responsibility for their actions and show they are taking steps to get back to work. For too long the benefits system has been quick to write people off and put them on the sick. This has to stop," he added.