Blog | Wednesday, September 19, 2012

QD: News Every Day--Projections cite half the population of 39 states could be obese in 20 years

The vast majority of America will be overweight or obese by 2030, according to projections, with 39 states having half of their population in this category, reports two public health organizations.

Following up on the release of current obesity levels in August, the news comes from "F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2012," by Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

"This study shows us two futures for America's health," said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MACP, the foundation's president and CEO. "At every level of government, we must pursue policies that preserve health, prevent disease and reduce health care costs. Nothing less is acceptable."

The analysis is based on a peer-reviewed model published last year in The Lancet. Findings include:

If obesity rates continue on their current trajectories, by 2030, 13 states could have adult obesity rates above 60 percent, with Mississippi having an obesity rate of 66.7%. Another 39 states could have rates above 50%. All 50 states could have rates above 44%, including Colorado, which topped 20% obesity prevalence for the first time in this year's results.

This could trigger a 10-fold increase in type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke, and hypertension and arthritis between 2010 and 2020, only to double again by 2030.

That's more than 6 million cases of diabetes, 5 million cases of coronary heart disease and stroke, and more than 400,000 cases of cancer in the next 20 years.

Medical costs associated with treating preventable obesity-related diseases are estimated to increase by $48 billion to $66 billion per year in the United States by 2030, not counting the loss in economic productivity.