About 32 million more Americans will become obese by 2030, upping obesity rates to 42 percent of the U.S. population, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report also predicts that the proportion of Americans who are severely obese, meaning more than 100 pounds overweight, will reach 11 percent, about double the current rate. The report’s authors give a sobering price tag for these predictions: such an increase would create $550 billion of obesity-related health care costs.
Eric Finkelstein, one of the authors of the report, said the prospect of such increasing rates, particularly those of severely obese Americans, is alarming since efforts aimed at helping people lose weight have so far proven relatively ineffective. “Their weight continues to increase. Over the last 10 years, it has gone up tremendously,” he said in a press conference. “This is a group at great risk of health complications, and yet they are increasing at an even greater rate than the rate of obesity.”