We haven't started our physiology section yet but with today's dramatic headlines from the CDC's 'Weight of the Nation' event I thought I'd post a little about obesity.
Now in today's headlines we see the shocking news that 36% of American's are now obese (up from 12% in 1990 and 22% in 2000) and by 2030 that is estimated to rise to 42% leading to somewhere around half a TRILLION dollars in extra healthcare costs between now and then (compared to if obesity rates stayed at 2010 levels). This is all based on a paper in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine - Obesity and Severe Obesity Forecasts Through 2030.
About the only good news is that the paper actually results in a lower estimate of future obesity than some previous analyses but that's cold comfort given the conclusions:
The study estimates a 33% increase in obesity prevalence and a 130% increase in severe obesity prevalence over the next 2 decades. If these forecasts prove accurate, this will further hinder efforts for healthcare cost containment.
The paper also provides some estimates for 'severe obesity' (BMI>40 - for me that would be just about doubling my weight to 310lb). These estimates are actually worse than current estimates. By 2030 they predict that 10% of the US population will be severely obese.