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An article series published in The Lancet medical journal estimated that about half of the population of both America and the United Kingdom will be obese by 2030.
“Using a simulation model to project the probable health and economic consequences from rising obesity rates in the United States and the United Kingdom, researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and Oxford University forecast 65 million more obese adults in the U.S. and 11 million more in the U.K. by 2030, leading to millions of additional cases of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer,” Science Daily reported.
Citing the study, the news site stated that obesity “prevalence among men would rise from 32% in 2008 to approximately 50% and from 35% to between 45% and 52% among women” in the United States.
“Obesity is fast replacing tobacco as the single most important preventable cause of chronic noncommunicable diseases, and will add an extra 7.8 million cases of diabetes, 6.8 million cases of heart disease and stroke, and 539,000 cases of cancer in the United States by 2030,” Reuters reported.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Health Survey, roughly a third of U.S. adults and about “17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2-19 years are obese.”
Reversing the obesity pandemic is a major challenge in a nation where people increasingly fall into poor eating habits and live sedentary lifestyles. According to estimates, obesity costs the U.S. $150 billion a year.
“Almost no week goes by without a new headline about obesity,” The Lancet stated. “The latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures for the US population in 2010 released in July are alarming: 12 states have obesity rates higher than 30% and no state had a rate lower than 20. Since these figures rely on self-reported height and weight, they are likely to be underestimated…The projected costs to treat these additional preventable diseases are an increase of $48-66 billion per year in the USA and £1.9-2 billion per year in the UK. Health systems everywhere are already struggling to contain costs. Without prevention and control of the risk factors for obesity now, health systems will be overwhelmed to breaking point.”