Report: "How Obesity Threatens America's Future"

Sep 20, 2012, 12:36 PM


The number of obese adults, along with related disease rates and health care costs, are on course to increase dramatically in every state in the country over the next 20 years, according to F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2012, a new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America's Health.

The report forecasts adult obesity rates in each state by 2030 and the likely resulting rise in obesity-related disease rates and health care costs.

If upward trends in obesity rates continue, obesity rates could exceed 60 percent in 13 states by 2030, and the loss in economic productivity for the country could be as high as $580 billion annually.

But the news isn't all bad---critical preventive measures could make an enormous impact, and help forge a healthier future for the nation. If states can cut the average body mass index of their population by just 5 percent, millions of Americans could be spared from serious health conditions and the country could save billions of dollars in health care spending. The interactive map pictured here paints a picture of two possible futures---one if we continue on our current path of rapidly rising obesity rates, and another if states can achieve a 5 percent reduction in BMI. 

>>Read the full report.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF New Public Health blog.