Norwich Union’s socially-responsible investment team is assessing the risks and opportunities posed by the world’s obesity problem on the food production, retailing, healthcare and leisure sectors.
The World Health Organisation says over one billion people are overweight while the UK’s health select committee estimates that problems caused by obesity cost the UK between 3.3bn and 3.7bn a year.
NU says the problem can have a big impact on firms’ long-term profitability. For example, companies that produce poor quality food with high sugar, salt and fat content risk losing market share as consumers switch to healthier options.
UK ethical fund and sustainable future UK growth fund manager Peter Michaelis says: “We think that rising trends in obesity pose both a risk and opportunity for companies and it is important to understand to what extent companies are exposed to this issue and how they are managing it.”