Study suggests 86 percent of Americans could be overweight or obese by 2030

July 28, 2008,

Most adults in the U.S. will be overweight or obese by 2030, with related health care spending projected to be as much as $956.9 billion, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Their results are published in the July 2008 online issue of Obesity.

"National survey data show that the prevalence of overweight and obese adults in the U.S. has increased steadily over the past three decades," said Youfa Wang, MD, PhD, lead author of the study and associate professor with the Bloomberg School's Center for Human Nutrition. "If these trends continue, more than 86 percent of adults will be overweight or obese by 2030 with approximately 96 percent of non-Hispanic black women and 91 percent of Mexican-American men affected. This would result in 1 of every 6 health care dollars spent in total direct health care costs paying for overweight and obesity-related costs."

The researchers conducted projection analyses based on data collected over the past three decades from nationally representative surveys. Their projections illustrate the potential burden of the U.S. obesity epidemic if current trends continue.

"Our analysis also shows that over time heavy Americans become heavier," says May A. Beydoun, a former postdoctoral research fellow at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

"The health care costs attributable to obesity and overweight are expected to more than double every decade. This would account for 15 to 17 percent of total health care costs spent," Wang says. "Due to the assumptions we made and the limitations of the available data, these figures are likely an underestimation of the true financial impact."

Current standards define adults with a body mass index (BMI) between 25 and 29.9 as overweight and adults with a BMI of 30 or higher as obese. Both the overweight and obese are at an increased risk for developing a number of health conditions, including hypertension, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Researchers estimate that children and young adults may have a shorter life expectancy than their parents if the obesity epidemic is left unaddressed.

The authors warned that obesity has become a public health crisis in the U.S. Timely, dramatic and effective development and implementation of corrective programs and policies are needed to avoid the otherwise inevitable health and societal consequences implied by their projections. If current trends continue, the researchers say that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will not meet its Healthy People 2010 initiative to increase the proportion of adults who are at a healthy weight and to reduce the proportion of adults who are obese.

Source: Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health

Explore further: New study shows vegan diet improves diabetes markers in overweight adults

Related Stories

New study shows vegan diet improves diabetes markers in overweight adults

February 12, 2018
A plant-based diet improves beta-cell function and insulin sensitivity in overweight adults with no history of diabetes, according to a new study published in Nutrients by researchers from the Physicians Committee for Responsible ...

Some racial/ethnic groups have greater chance of developing high blood pressure

February 12, 2018
People who are African-American, American Indian/native Alaskan, Asian, or native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders have a significantly greater chance of developing hypertension than people who are white or Hispanic who ...

Where you live may influence whether you are overweight, study finds

January 23, 2018
The old real estate adage of "location, location, location" may also apply to obesity.

You've lost the weight. How soon before it comes back?

January 23, 2018
(HealthDay)—If you've just shed a lot of pounds, you might want to hold off on buying a new wardrobe full of "thin" clothes.

Will supplements help your workout or diet routine?

January 24, 2018
The new year is a time to set new goals, and for many people this means losing weight and improving fitness. Although these goals are best met with a nutritious diet and regular physical activity, many people may turn to ...

Sugar-sweetened drinks linked to overweight and obesity in children, adults: Analysis of new studies

December 23, 2017
A new review of the latest evidence on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs)- which includes 30 new studies published between 2013 and 2015 (and none of them industry sponsored) - concludes that SSB consumption is associated with ...

Recommended for you

Smartphones are bad for some teens, not all

February 21, 2018
Is the next generation better or worse off because of smartphones? The answer is complex and research shows it largely depends on their lives offline.

Tackling health problems in the young is crucial for their children's future

February 21, 2018
A child's growth and development is affected by the health and lifestyles of their parents before pregnancy - even going back to adolescence - according to a new study by researchers at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, ...

Lead and other toxic metals found in e-cigarette 'vapors': study

February 21, 2018
Significant amounts of toxic metals, including lead, leak from some e-cigarette heating coils and are present in the aerosols inhaled by users, according to a study from scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public ...

Why teens need up to 10 hours' sleep

February 21, 2018
Technology, other distractions and staying up late make is difficult, but researchers say teenagers need to make time for 8-10 hours of sleep a night to optimise their performance and maintain good health and wellbeing.

Electronic health records don't reduce administrative costs

February 21, 2018
The federal government thought that adopting certified electronic health record systems (EHR) would reduce administrative costs for physicians in a variety of specialties. However, a major new study conducted by researchers ...

Low-fat or low-carb? It's a draw, study finds

February 20, 2018
New evidence from a study at the Stanford University School of Medicine might dismay those who have chosen sides in the low-fat versus low-carb diet debate.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.