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“F as in Fat”: Obesity Rates Predicted to Rise Drastically in Washington
A new report finds that more than half of states could have obesity rates above 50 percent by 2030. By Melissa Romero
A new report released by Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation projects that all 50 states could have an obesity rate above 44 percent by 2030. Photograph courtesy of Shutterstock.
Comments () | Published September 19, 2012

A report released yesterday offers a truly bleak and alarming look at the future of our country’s health, stating that by 2030 every state in the nation could have an obesity rate above 44 percent.

The report, F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2012, also found that 13 states could have adult obesity rates above 60 percent. Thirty-nine states could have rates above 50 percent.

Although 2030 seems like a long time from now, it’s worth thinking about what that means for America’s health in the meantime. The report projects that between now and 2020, the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and arthritis could increase tenfold. Even scarier: Those numbers could double again by 2030.

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in August, Mississippi currently has the highest rate of obesity, at 34.9 percent. In 2030, it’ll still be on top—and will reach disturbing proportions. The report projects a statewide obesity rate of 66.7 percent.

If things don’t change on the obesity front now, Delaware could be in for a rude awakening. Right now it sits in 19th place, but the second smallest state will be the third fattest by 2030, with a projected obesity rate of 64.7 percent.

Things aren’t much better for the future of Washingtonians, either. While the area is often ranked as one of the fittest in the country (usually behind Hawaii and Colorado), the current trajectory for DC in 2030 shows that its obesity rate could be nearly 33 percent. That leaves it with the lowest projected rate, but also with the 15th highest increase of health-care costs in the country.

Maryland’s obesity rate is scheduled to reach nearly double that of DC’s, at 58.8 percent, while Virginia’s could be nearly 50 percent. Virginia’s health-care costs could have the sixth highest increase in the country, at 23.8 percent.

The future of health in the US certainly sounds frightening, but there is a silver lining. The report, which was released by Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, also found that if each state reduces its average body mass index by 5 percent, health-care costs could be cut drastically by 2030. That’s a whopping $32,973,000,000 in DC, Maryland, and Virginia alone.

For the full report, visit the Trust for America’s Health website

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Posted at 12:30 PM/ET, 09/19/2012 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Washingtonian.com Blogs