Report: Obesity Rates Will Continue To Grow, Health Care Costs Will Follow

Topics: Health Costs, Public Health, States

Sep 19, 2012

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America’s Health concluded that, based on current trends, most Americans could be obese by 2030.

Politico: Study: Obesity Rate To Jump By 50% By 2030
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Trust for America’s Health released a new report Tuesday projecting America’s obesity rates through 2030. If current obesity rates continue, every state could have an obesity rate above 44 percent by 2030, and most states could have rates higher than 50 percent, the report found (Smith, 9/19).

Kaiser Health News: Capusles: Unchecked Rise In Obesity Will Be Costly To States, Report Says
A new report analyzing obesity trends warns that health care costs will increase alongside U.S. waistlines if current rates are left unchecked. It calls for mobilizing public health efforts and expanding funding to help adults and children become leaner (Rao, 9/18).

The Hill: Study: US Will Have 39 ‘Majority-Obese’ States By The Year 2030
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and Trust for America’s Health partnered on the report out Tuesday. It projects a massive rise in cases of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other weight-related disorders as Americans gain substantial weight. Report authors argue the crisis merits federal intervention to promote healthier school lunches and more physical education for children — controversial recommendations amid current political debates over the right role of government. “Policy changes can help make healthier choices easier for Americans in their daily lives,” said Jeff Levi, executive director with Trust for America’s Health (Viebeck, 9/18).

The Fiscal Times: Unchecked Obesity Could Bankrupt Nation
Obesity rates have doubled over the past two decades and will almost double again over the next two decades unless the public comes to grips with its swelling waistlines, a new study says. The rising tide of obesity threatens to send health care costs soaring. Already, the nation spends an estimated $147 billion to $210 billion per year on obesity-related diseases including Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and arthritis. Unless the projections are altered dramatically, additional medical costs associated with treating preventable, obesity-related diseases could swell by another $48 billion to $66 billion by 2030, the report said (Goozner, 9/19).

Medpage Today: Red Or Blue Most States Are Fat
If obesity rates continue to follow current trends, more than half the population of almost 40 states will be obese in 2030, health groups said. In 13 states six of every 10 residents will be obese, and all 50 states would have rates topping 44 percent, according to a report by Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. … The report estimates that in 2030, Mississippi could have the highest obesity rate at 66.7 percent, while Colorado would have the lowest at 44.8 percent. Currently, obesity rates top out at 34.9 percent in Mississippi and bottom out at 20.7% in Colorado, according to the CDC (Fiore, 9/18).

ABC: Most Americans May Be Obese By 2030, Report Warns
The annual report looks at the state of the obesity epidemic, as well as ways to address it. This year, for the first time, it includes new data on how obesity could impact the health and wealth of the U.S. over the next 20 years. Using a prediction model published in The Lancet last year, analysts estimated that if adult obesity rates continue on their current path, all 50 states could have rates above 44 percent by 2030 (Braun, 9/18).

CNN: Health Care Costs To Bulge Along With U.S.
It also projects that the health of the country — and the dollars spent on the health care system — would benefit from even a 5% reduction in the average body mass index. … The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found, in data published in August, that Mississippi is the country’s leader in adult obesity, at 34.9%. That number could rise to 66.7% by 2030, the new report found. The new analysis also projected that obesity rates in 13 states could rise above 60% among adults by 2030 (Landau, 9/18).

NBC: If You Think We’re Fat Now, Wait Till 2030
In August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 12 states have an adult obesity rate over 30 percent. Mississippi had the highest rate of obesity at 34.9 percent. On the low end, 20.7 percent of Colorado residents are obese. CDC projections for obesity resemble those in Tuesday’s report – it projects 42 percent of adults will be obese by 2030. The problem isn’t just cosmetic (Fox, 9/18).

Some news outlets examined what the report projects for their states –

Los Angeles Times: More Than 45% Of Californians May Be Obese By 2030, Report Says
If you think America is fat now, just wait 20 years. So says a state-by-state projection of the nation’s future obesity rates that has arrived at some terrifying results: By 2030, every state in the nation may well have obesity rates above 44%, with most having rates above 50% (Bardin, 9/18).

The Dallas Morning News: Texas Is On A Path To 57% Obesity By 2030, And That Would Be Costly
At the current rate of weight gain, by 2030, 57.2 percent of Texans will be obese. That could lead to 13 million more cases of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart failure and stroke, arthritis and cancer. The projections by the Trust for America’s Health  were released Tuesday. … The state’s current obesity rate is 30.4 percent, according to self-reported weight and height measurements gathered in surveys by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Landers, 9/18).

San Francisco Chronicle: Heavy Toll Seen In Health Habits: Obesity
Nearly half of Californians will be obese by 2030 if they don’t change their eating habits and start exercising, according to a report released Tuesday that offers a state-by-state analysis of the country’s weighty future. That would mark a significant increase from the state’s 2011 obesity rate of 23.8 percent but, even with that, California’s ranking as the 46th fattest state in the country is not expected to change (Colliver, 9/18).

Minnesota Public Radio: Obesity Could Double In Minnesota If Patterns Hold
Anyone who thinks Minnesota has a serious obesity problem now should look ahead 20 years. It could get a whole lot worse. A new analysis of government health data suggests that Minnesota’s obesity rate could climb to a staggering 54.7 percent by 2030 if the state’s current weight-related trends don’t change. Currently 25.7 percent of Minnesota adults are obese (Benson, 9/18).

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: State Could Save $12 Billion In Health Costs If Residents Slim Down, Report Says
Every little bit counts, whether it’s increasing physical activity in schools and workplaces, making fresh fruits and vegetables more affordable, or losing 10 pounds through exercise and better eating. The ultimate payoff for Wisconsin could add up to $11.96 billion in health care savings if the average resident trimmed just 5% from his or her body mass index by 2030, according to a state-by-state report released Tuesday by Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Combating obesity helps reduce costly chronic obesity-related diseases, such as type 2 diabetes – a disease of considerable concern for aging baby boomers (Herzog, 9/18).

Detroit Free Press: How Fat Is Michigan? New Obesity-Rate Ranking Puts Us Behind Just These 4 Other States
Three of 5 Michiganders could be obese by 2030 and its healthcare costs could soar if the state doesn’t start shedding pounds, according to a new report this morning. Michigan jumped to 5th fattest state in the nation as the number of obese adults expanded from 30.5% to 31.3%, according to the annual F as in Fat report by the Trust for America Health. The report is financed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a Princeton, N.J.-based philanthropy focused on health issues. More than 12% of Michigan’s high school students are obese as well, according to the report (Erb, 9/18).

In related news –

Reuters: Wal-Mart, Humana Reward Healthy Food Purchases
Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world’s largest retailer, is joining with healthcare insurer Humana Inc to trim the cost of healthy foods for some customers. More than 1 million members of Humana’s healthy rewards program will get a 5 percent credit on about 1,300 healthy food items at U.S. Walmart stores starting on October 15, the companies said. The credit can be used against future Walmart purchases (Humer, 9/19).

Medpage Today: NYC Health Chief Urges Others To Act On Obesity
The chief of New York City’s health department, which just passed a ban on super-sized sugary drinks, has called on other governmental bodies to champion food policy that will have an impact on obesity. “To do nothing is to invite even higher rates of obesity, diabetes, and related mortality,” Thomas Farley, MD, MPH, the city’s health commissioner, wrote in a commentary in a special issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association dedicated to obesity. Farley argues that government has a long history of passing policies that protect public health, including restaurant inspections to prevent foodborne disease and seat belt laws that blunt the impact of car crashes — even though none of these are as deadly as obesity, Farley said (Fiore, 9/18).

This is part of Kaiser Health News’ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.


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