42% of Americans Obese by 2030, Up From 35% Today

Americans are ridiculously fat and getting fatter by the nanosecond.

Americans are ridiculously fat and getting fatter by the nanosecond.

CNN  (42% of nation to be obese by 2030, study predicts“):

After years of rising obesity rates in the United States, recent statistics show the rates may have steadied. But that may not be enough, according to a new report released on Monday – it estimates about 42% of the U.S. population will be obese by 2030.

The report suggests an additional 30 million Americans will be obese in 18 years. This would cost an additional $549.5 billion on medical expenditures, according to the report in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

“If you could keep the obesity rates at today’s level, you would save $550 billion,” said Eric Finkelstein, lead author of the report.

About 35% of U.S. adults are obese today, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The obesity projections were released at the CDC’s Weight of the Nation conference, which is focused on preventing this growing health problem. A four-part HBO documentary with the same title begins airing next week.

Finkelstein and co-authors estimate that 11% of the population will be severely obese by 2030. Severe obesity is defined as a body mass index over 40 or being roughly 100 pounds overweight. Obese people have shorter life expectancies and greater lifetime medical costs, “suggesting that future healthcare costs may continue to increase even if obesity prevalence levels off,” wrote the authors.

“Those individuals have much greater risk of early mortality, diabetes, heart disease,” said Finkelstein. “They’re much, much more expensive and they’re on the rise, partly because 50 years ago, it was really, really hard to weigh that much. You’d have to eat all the time.”

That 11 in 100 Americans could be 100 pounds overweight in just a few years seems absurd. But we’re moving in that direction.

FILED UNDER: Health, Quick Takes
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. michael reynolds says:

    Hell yeah! Beat that, China!

    1
  2. Franklin says:

    And who’s gonna pay for their healthcare?

  3. Dave Schuler says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Don’t be so cocky, Michael. According to reports from the Chinese Ministry of Health and the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services merely assuming no change in overweight rates in China and the U. S. a higher proportion of Chinese than Americans will be overweight in 2030.

  4. Tillman says:

    Now if only they were all blood donors.

  5. michael reynolds says:

    @Dave Schuler: @Dave Schuler:

    Oh, sure, they can achieve overweight, but do they have the Super Fat capability we have? I don’t think so.

  6. Racehorse says:

    Yet, everyone I know is always working out at a gym or running/walking.
    How about people like me who are underweight and trying to gain ? Even on a diet of milkshakes I can’t get a pound.

  7. michael reynolds says:

    @Racehorse:
    I believe I speak for every overweight person reading your comment when I say “f*ck you.” 😉

  8. george says:

    @michael reynolds:

    And don’t count out Canada – we’re making a strong move on the inside for the overweight championship.

  9. J-Dub says:

    @Tillman: I wouldn’t even want the gravy they extract from their veins.

  10. J-Dub says:

    And if the these Pan Drippings were forced to pay the actual cost of their health insurance they would decide to go uncovered instead, forcing the rest of us to pay for the ambulance when they have a heart attack.

  11. Racehorse says:

    @J-Dub: How about the thin person who runs marathons and has a heart attack? It happens.

  12. An Interested Party says:

    And if the these Pan Drippings were forced to pay the actual cost of their health insurance they would decide to go uncovered instead, forcing the rest of us to pay for the ambulance when they have a heart attack.

    I assume you would also want to force that treatment on walking Cancer Sticks and staggering Boozehounds, among many others? I mean, if you really want to be fair, you can’t just stick it to the fatties, as many other people live unhealthy lifestyles that cause them to gobble up health care services far outstripping their ability to pay for it all themselves…I wonder what your lifestyle is like…