Obesity Projected to Affect Nearly Half of US Population by 2030

Large group of people with weigh issues
Nearly 25 percent of adults projected to have severe obesity by 2030; in 25 states obesity will top 25 percent

HealthDay News — Nearly half of adults are projected to have obesity by 2030, according to a study published in the Dec. 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Zachary J. Ward, M.P.H., from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues obtained body mass index (BMI) data reported by 6,264,226 adults who participated in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey, corrected for quantile-specific self-reporting bias with the use of measured data from 57,131 adults who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The prevalence of underweight or normal weight, overweight, moderate obesity, and severe obesity was estimated. Using data from 1990 through 2010, the accuracy of the approach was evaluated and projections were made through 2030.

Using the findings from this approach, the researchers predicted, with high accuracy, that nearly half of adults will have obesity (48.9 percent) by 2030; in 29 states, the prevalence will be higher than 50 percent and will not be below 35 percent in any state. By 2030, 24.2 percent of adults are projected to have severe obesity; in 25 states, the prevalence will be higher than 25 percent. Nationally, severe obesity is likely to become the most common BMI category among women, non-Hispanic black adults, and low-income adults (27.6, 31.7, and 31.7 percent, respectively).

“Given the difficulty in achieving and maintaining meaningful weight loss, these findings highlight the importance of prevention efforts,” the authors write.

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