Obesity Rates are on the Rise in America

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People that live in the world’s richest, most developed countries are getting more and more overweight, and nowhere is that more evident than the United States. That’s according to a group of the world’s leading economies, in its first-ever “obesity forecast”. It’s predicted that three out of four Americans will be either overweight or obese by the year 2020, causing health care expenditures and disease and death rates to skyrocket unless there is intervention by federal, state and local governments.

The organization that made the predictions is based in Paris, France, and it compiles 33 of the world’s top economies. This group is more well-known for forecasting employment levels and budget deficits than it is for weighing people. However, obese people cost governments more money, in terms of resources used and in decreased lifespans.
The increase in overweight individuals is blamed on the usual factors: food being much cheaper than it used to be (especially unhealthy food), changing lifestyles, and more meals eaten in restaurants. The report was assembled over the course of three years, and it points out that the number of overweight Americans has risen over 20% since 1980- and that in ten more years, three out of four Americans will be overweight.

The predictions made by the report are in agreement with those made by some researchers in America. Predictions published in the Johns Hopkins university journal Obesity say that over 85% of adults in America will be obese or overweight by 2030 if things continue going the way they are. However, recent government findings say that the obesity problem may be leveling off a little, with rates staying fairly constant at two-thirds of the population.

The factors causing the obesity epidemic in the United States are also at play in other fairly wealthy countries. On average, an obese person is expected to live eight to ten years less than a person of normal weight, nearly the same decrease as smoking. In the US, obesity already costs the equivalent of 1% of the country’s total GDP (gross domestic product).  Those costs could rise by two or three times over the next few years, as cited in another OECD study.

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  1. Besides heart disease and diabetes, obesity is also a leading cause of high blood pressure, which in turn is a prime risk factor for Aneurysm development-both cerebral and aortic. This is a devastating disease and, for anyone who has known a victim, it is more than enough motivation for a healthy diet and lifestyle.

  2. Hello. My name is Hannah Freed, and I am the Editorial Assistant for Obesity. I need to point out that the journal Obesity is published by Nature Publishing Group and The Obesity Society, NOT by the “Johns Hopkins university journal…”. The authors are from Johns Hopkins.

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