A 5 Percent Reduction in BMI Could Alter U.S. Obesity Course

Obesity rates, obesity-related disease rates, and obesity-related costs could be improved by 2030

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Obesity trends for 2030 could see considerable improvement if there was a 5 percent reduction in average body mass index for all adults by state, according to a report published online Sept. 18 by the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

Jeffrey Levi, Ph.D., from the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services in Washington, D.C., and colleagues from the TFAH and RWJF examined the latest available data to report obesity trends and examine projected trends for 2030.

The researchers found that current U.S. obesity rates per state range from 20.7 to 34.9 percent, with an obesity rate over 30 percent in 12 states. Assuming current trends continue, in 2030, more than 60 percent of people in 13 states could be obese. For every 100,000 people, there could be an average of 12,127 new cases of type 2 diabetes; 26,573 new cases of coronary heart disease and stroke; 24,923 new cases of hypertension; 16,152 new cases of arthritis; and 3,781 new cases of obesity-related cancer. Nine states would experience increases of more than 20 percent in obesity-related costs. In contrast, a 5 percent reduction in the average BMI would result in no state having more than 60 percent obesity. In all states, thousands of cases of obesity-related disease and hundreds of cancer cases could be avoided. Every state except Florida would save 6.5 to 7.8 percent on obesity-related health costs.

"This study shows us two futures for America's health," Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D, the president and chief executive officer of RWJF, said in a statement. "At every level of government, we must pursue policies that preserve health, prevent disease, and reduce health care costs. Nothing less is acceptable."

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