Mississippi expected to remain the fattest state
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/29/2012 -- More than half the population of 39 states will be obese, not just overweight, by 2030, according to projections from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America’s Health.
That number is beyond even the federal government’s own alarming projection of a 42 percent nationwide obesity rate by 2030.
An estimated two-thirds of the current U.S. population are overweight, including 36 percent who are obese. Obesity rates have not increased in recent years.
The predictions were released last week by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America's Health, which campaign nationally to raise awareness regarding obesity. Mississippi is projected to remain the nation’s fattest state for the next two decades at least. An estimated 67 percent of that state’s residents are predicted to be obese by 2030, up from the current 35 percent.
The current “thinnest state” is Colorado, where 20 percent of the population is obese. That figure is projected to increase to 45 percent by 2030. Delaware’s obesity rate, currently at the midpoint among states, is projected to nearly match that of Mississippi’s by 2030.
The groups’ report didn't speculate as to why some states' obesity were expected to increase more than others.
The report didn’t actually project a national adult obesity rate for 2030 as the CDC did but one of the study’s researchers said the report’s figures indicate an almost 50 percent national adult obesity rate. CDC officials did not comment on the groups’ report.
Trust for America’s Health officials based their projections partly upon state-by-state surveys conducted between 1999-2010 by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. In those telephone surveys, people were asked their height and weight.
Researchers also examined other national data in which people were measured and weighed, then adjusted for how much people might misrepresent their weight. They also used current trends in obesity rates and other factors in their predictions.
Officials from both groups described their projections as “reasonable.” Trust for America's Health Executive Director Jeff Levi said whichever figures are used, the country’s obesity will continue increasing along with heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Medical costs for obesity-related conditions are expected to jump from $18 billion to $66 billion annually by 2030. Levi said addressing obesity is essential since controlling costs is a large part of the health care debate.
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