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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

More Bad News on Obesity

A spanking-new study in the journal Obesity reports that just over 20 years from now, the vast majority of Americans will be overweight or obese.

How bad is bad? Currently, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows that about 66 percent of U.S.adults are overweight or obese.
The author of this new obesity research—Dr. Youfa Wang of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore—forecasts that number will rise to 86 percent of Americans by 2030. And, if current trends continue, he predicts that ALL [!] Americans will be overweight or obese by 2048.
According to an article from ABC News that’s scarily titled “Study Predicts Obesity Apocalypse by 2030”:
“If these predictions come to bear, Wang and his colleagues estimate that the additional overweight and obesity burden could add up to an extra $860 billion to $956 billion per year in health expenditures to treat these conditions. All told, this would mean that $1 in every $6 spent on health care would be spent as a result of the overweight and obesity.”
While some experts quoted disagree that every single American will eventually be overweight, there is definite consensus that this is one of the most pressing problems facing our country, and that obesity is “still increasing at disastrous rate.”

One particularly interesting quote:
"We are terribly, ominously off-course," says Dr. David Katz, co-founder of the Yale University Prevention Research Center. "To close the gap, we need to fix everything that's broken -- from neighborhoods without sidewalks, to the high price of produce, to food marketing to children, to misleading health claims on food packages, to school days devoid of physical activity and school cafeterias devoid of healthful offerings. The list goes on and on."
I think that Katz is right, and that we need to do our part with broad, easily accessible health and wellness offerings for companies, in order to help workers—and Americans, in general—get back on the right track. The alternative “apocalypse” is just too plain scary…

1 comment:

Mike Craycraft said...

What we also need to control is the false claims from companies that promise people can lose weight just from taking their product. Late night TV is full of false claiming infomercials. This leaves the public to believe that there really will be a magic pill and that they don't have to take their own resposibility to be healthy.