A study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has determined that if the trends of the past three decades continue, it’s possible that all American adults could be overweight in 40 years.
Dr. Lan Liang of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and her colleagues note that some groups of U.S. adults already have alarmingly high rates of overweight and obesity. For example, 78% of African-American women are currently overweight or obese.
These findings are based on government survey data collected between the 1970s and 2004. The researchers estimate that 86% of American adults will be overweight by 2030, with an obesity rate of 51%. By 2048, all U.S. adults could be at lease mildly overweight.
The researchers do note that these findings are based on the assumption that the trends of the past few decades will continue without any hindrance.
They also estimate that healthcare costs directly related to excess pounds will double each decade, reaching $957 billion in 2030, which would account for one of every six healthcare dollars spent in the U.S.
Wow! This is quite alarming. The article also recommends that social changes, such as more pedestrian-friendly communities, are necessary. I would agree with them, but it seems like more is necessary. Unfortunately, it appears that America has dug itself into a very large hole. It will be difficult to climb out of it, but I think that most people want to be healthy and as things get out of hand there will be increased efforts to reverse these trends.