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Report: Obesity Rate Could Exceed 60% in 13 States by 2030

U.S. medical costs expected to increase by $48 billion to $66 billion per year (Sept. 18)

The number of obese adults, along with related disease rates and healthcare costs, are on course to increase dramatically in every state in the country over the next 20 years, according to F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2012, a report released on September 18 by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The annual report includes an analysis that forecasts 2030 adult obesity rates in each state and the likely resulting increase in obesity-related disease rates and healthcare costs. The analysis also shows that states could prevent obesity-related diseases and dramatically reduce healthcare costs if they reduced the average body mass index (BMI) of their residents by just 5% by 2030.

The analysis, which was based on a peer-reviewed model published last year in The Lancet, found that if obesity rates continue on their current trajectories, by 2030 13 states could have adult obesity rates above 60%; 39 states could have rates above 50%; and all 50 states could have rates above 44%.

Other key findings of the report included the following:

By 2030, Mississippi could have the highest obesity rate at 66.7%, and Colorado could have the lowest rate at 44.8%. According to the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity rates in 2011 ranged from a high of 34.9% in Mississippi to a low of 20.7% in Colorado.

If states’ obesity rates continue on their current trajectories, the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and arthritis could increase 10 times between 2010 and 2020 — and double again by 2030.

Obesity could contribute to more than 6 million cases of type 2 diabetes, to 5 million cases of coronary heart disease and stroke, and to more than 400,000 cases of cancer in the next two decades.

By 2030, medical costs associated with treating preventable obesity-related diseases are estimated to increase by $48 billion to $66 billion per year in the U.S., and the loss in economic productivity could be between $390 billion and $580 billion annually by 2030. Although the medical cost of adult obesity in the U.S. is difficult to calculate, current estimates range from $147 billion to nearly $210 billion per year.

For more information, visit the Trust for America's Health Web site.

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