Report: Most Americans Could Be Obese By 2030
If obesity rates continue rising at their current pace, more than half of all Americans could be obese by 2030, according to a report released today by Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). Researchers say adult obesity rates could exceed 60 percent in 13 states, while 39 states would have rates above 50 percent. Today, more than a third of Americans are obese—a number that has more than doubled since 1980.
The report outlines ways rising obesity rates could negatively impact Americans, and the numbers are sobering. If rates continue on their current trajectory, the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and arthritis could increase 10 times by 2020—and double again by 2030. Medical costs for treating these conditions would rise to $66 billion a year, and the loss of economic productivity could hit $500 billion or more.
The analysis isn’t all gloom and doom, however. Researchers say that if states can reduce the average body mass index (BMI) of residents by 5 percent by 2030, thousands—maybe millions—of new cases of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke could be avoided. (Calculate your BMI here.)
In a statement, Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, RWJF president and CEO, implored the government to take action. “At every level of government, we must pursue policies that preserve health, prevent disease, and reduce health care costs,” she said. “Nothing less is acceptable.”
Are you trying to lose weight? Experts recommend losing weight at a rate of 1 pound per week. That requires cutting 500 calories from your diet each day to hit the 3,500 that equal 1 pound. Discover 24 calorie-blasting strategies that will help you burn more fat all day long.
—Christine Mattheis, Editor
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