42 Percent of the U.S. Population Could be Obese by 2030

Nearly half of the U.S. population could be obese by 2030, which means the healthcare system could be burdened with 32 million more obese people by that time, according to research from Duke University, RTI International, and the CDC.

Keeping obesity rates level could save nearly $550 billion in medical expenditures over the next two decades, researchers state, so action should be taken to keep obesity figures in check.

The number of individuals with severe obesity by 2030 is also expected to rise, the study says. Data shows that 11 percent of Americans are expected to be severely obese in two decades. Severe obesity is defined as a BMI over 40 or roughly 100 pounds overweight. Severely obese individuals are at highest risk for the health conditions caused by excess weight, resulting in substantially greater medical costs and rates of absenteeism.

The study was released May 7th at CDC’s Weight of the Nation conference in Washington, D.C. Speakers stressed that while knowledge of healthy eating and lifestyle strategies are widely known, access to these strategies aren’t always easily accessible.

A set of potential solutions were released at the CDC conference, including a report from the Institute of Medicine, which provided a comprehensive review of obesity prevention-related recommendations. The report identified strategies and action steps that have the greatest potential to speed up progress in combating the obesity crisis.

Source: Duke University Health System, May 7, 2012

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