As Americans waist lines continue to expand, the number of obese people is rapidly rising. In fact, the latest projections on the subject of obesity show that as high as 42 percent of Americans will be obese by the year 2030. It is also projected that 11 percent of Americans will be severely (or morbidly) obese. All of this added weight will also contribute to billions of dollars in additional health care costs. As we know, when weight goes up, so do the chances for weight related diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, certain types of cancer, sleep apnea, headaches, migraines and several others.
About 36 percent of Americans were classified as obese in 2010 and six percent were severely obese. Individuals typically have to be 30 pounds over a healthy weight to be classified as obese, and being 100 pounds or more overweight is classified as severely obese. Something to keep in mind is that the 42 percent increase in obesity would be 32 million people in addition to the 78 million people that were accounted for as obese in 2010.
Health economist and lead researcher Eric Finkelstein made the statement, “The obesity problem is likely to get much worse without a major public health intervention.” Finkelstein’s research findings will be published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine online. To figure the future obesity percentage, researchers calculated different data from the CDC along with the BMI of hundreds of thousands of people. It was once believed that the obesity levels were leveling off, but this latest research suggests that it will continue to rise at a slightly slower rate.
Information like this only reinforces the urgency we should feel as a nation to turn our health around. There are several initiatives in place already to help reverse and prevent obesity in children and adults. No matter how many programs there are though, the key to combating obesity is action. Without incorporating a healthy diet and proper exercise, weight will continue to increase.
If you are overweight, you can lose weight through eating more fruits and vegetables, including lean protein along with whole grains, and exercising more (at least 30 minutes of exercise daily). Making the commitment to stick with a healthy lifestyle will get you results. We can all do our part to combat these startling obesity numbers by changing our habits and encouraging healthy habits for our family and children.