New research from Duke University and the CDC suggests that severe obesity could have a considerable effect on health costs in coming years, WebMD Health News reports.
According to the study, by 2030, 42 percent of Americans will be obese and 11 percent will be severely obese. If prediction turned reality, health care costs would see an increase in millions of dollars due to a rise in heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and other related conditions. Obesity-related ailments already account for 9 percent of U.S. health costs — or $147 billion a year, according to WebMD.
The news isn’t all bad, however. Adult obesity numbers, though still unhealthful, seem to be leveling off. Earlier obesity estimates predicted that 51 percent of the population would be overweight by 2030.
So maybe we’re already getting the message.
“If Americans could become no more obese than we were in 2010,” WebMD says, “the U.S. would save $549.5 billion over the next two decades.”
But that still leaves stark numbers on the other side of the spectrum. Based on BMI (body mass index), 1 in 20 Americans is considered severely obese. At the rate we’re going, that number will rise to 1 in 10 by 2030.
The messages — and the worrisome predictions — are out there. Now it’s up to individual efforts to improve personal health, exercise and eating habits.
If nothing else, maybe we’ll do it for the money.