Most adults in the U.S. will be overweight or obese by 2030, with related health care spending projected to be as much as $956.9 billion, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Their results are published in the July 2008 online issue of Obesity.
"National survey data show that the prevalence of overweight and obese adults in the US has increased steadily over the past three decades," said Youfa Wang, MD, PhD, lead author of the study and associate professor with the Bloomberg School's Center for Human Nutrition.
"If these trends continue, more than 86% of adults will be overweight or obese by 2030 with approximately 96% of non-Hispanic black women and 91% of Mexican-American men affected. This would result in one of every six health care dollars spent in total direct health care costs paying for overweight and obesity-related costs."
The researchers conducted projection analyses based on data collected over the past three decades from nationally representative surveys. Their projections illustrate the potential burden of the US obesity epidemic if current trends continue.