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Close To Half Of American Adults Projected To Be Obese By 2030

4 weeks ago

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Posted on Jul 13, 2020, 4 p.m.

Despite research and warnings from experts in America the obesity rates continue to increase as they have been for decades; now researchers are predicting that by the year 2030 close to half of all adults will be obese if this trend continues on this path. 

This projection published in the New England Journal of Medicine is concerning because obesity is related to a number of health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and coronary heart disease among others according to Dr. Donald Hensrud who is the director of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program. 

In order to stop, gain control, and reverse this obesity epidemic it is important to understand what has contributed to it, such as what we eat, how much we eat, when we eat, what is in the food we eat, what we are not eating enough of, how much time we spend being sedentary, what happens from being sedentary, why we need to exercise, the true cost of those convenience foods, how the food supply has changed, and how this change has brought about people eating a lot of processed foods that are higher in calories. 

This recent study findings are a harbinger of pretty poor American health; the projection says that 49.2% of American adults will be obese, and in every state no fewer than 35% of adults will have a BMI of at least 30. BMI is the threshold that defines obesity that is a measure of fatness based on height and weight. While BMI has limitations as a predictor of personal health in large populations where rates of obesity are higher the people tend to be sicker, live shorter lives, and they incur more expansive healthcare expenses. 

But it gets worse as the prediction also suggests that as this nation continues to pack on the pounds 1 in 4 Americans will have severe obesity, which is defined as having a BMI of 40 or above. Based on these findings by 2030 severe obesity will become as common as regular obesity was in the 1990s. To add to this where Americans were already obese the generation after them is expected to become severely obese, and their risk of joint/back problems, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and early death will be even more elevated. 

Study results and conclusions:

RESULTS

“The findings from our approach suggest with high predictive accuracy that by 2030 nearly 1 in 2 adults will have obesity (48.9%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 47.7 to 50.1), and the prevalence will be higher than 50% in 29 states and not below 35% in any state. Nearly 1 in 4 adults is projected to have severe obesity by 2030 (24.2%; 95% CI, 22.9 to 25.5), and the prevalence will be higher than 25% in 25 states. We predict that, nationally, severe obesity is likely to become the most common BMI category among women (27.6%; 95% CI, 26.1 to 29.2), non-Hispanic black adults (31.7%; 95% CI, 29.9 to 33.4), and low-income adults (31.7%; 95% CI, 30.2 to 33.2).”

CONCLUSIONS

“Our analysis indicates that the prevalence of adult obesity and severe obesity will continue to increase nationwide, with large disparities across states and demographic subgroups. (Funded by the JPB Foundation.)”

"From a health standpoint, it will contribute to decreased health status in the United States. Also, we spend a lot of money because of that, and, so, health care costs are going to continue to rise, and our quality of life and other things are going to continue to deteriorate," says Dr. Hensrud.

"There are many outside factors that influence obesity," explains Dr. Hensrud. "We've engineered physical activity out of our lives. A simple example I use is that we don't have to walk into the gas station to pay for our gas anymore. We just swipe at the pump. If we do things like that hundreds of times during the day and we're less active at work, all of that corresponds with decreased activity and increased weight."

"If we're going to reverse this trend, it's going to require cooperation of many different areas in society," Dr. Hensrud says. "All of us have some responsibility, but it's hard. It's like swimming upstream, but it's not impossible. We can each do some things, take baby steps, do a little bit more activity, change our diet a little bit and do it in a practical and enjoyable manner to make these habits sustainable."

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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-07-adults-obese.html

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa1909301?query=featured_home

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