With all of the weight loss programs, fitness equipment infomercials, fitness clubs and studios popping up in every neighborhood, celebrity workout DVDs, fitness video games and the “Let’s Move” campaign (with Michelle Obama leading the way) you would think we would be winning the war against obesity. We should be on the right track to getting healthier as a nation. Unfortunately, that is not nearly the case. In fact, in recent health news a report estimates that 42% of the U.S. population will be obese by 2030 (not to mention the additional 11% of the population that will be severely obese).
If those numbers aren’t frightening enough, a recent report published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shed light on future obesity trends and the effect on medical expenditures and health care costs. Predictions for the next two decades include the following:
- “obesity prevalence of 42% and severe obesity prevalence of 11%”
- “33% increase in obesity prevalence and a 130% increase in severe obesity prevalence”
- “If obesity were to remain at 2010 levels, the combined savings in medical expenditures over the next two decades would be $549.5 billion.”
Results of this report were released at the recent Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Weight of the Nation™ Conference in Washington, DC (May 7-9, 2012). This conference was designed to provide a forum to highlight progress in the prevention and control of obesity. To access the June 2012 report visit the American Journal of Preventive Medicine website (www.ajpmonline.org) or click here to download the report.
Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining
The statistics that we read in the newspaper (or online) and what we hear on the radio only tell us part of the story when it comes to obesity in the United States. The reality is that each one of us is affected by the obesity epidemic. With more than one-third of adults and 12.5 million children considered clinically obese we either know at least one person in that category, or are a member.
Fortunately, this report gives us insight as to what the future might hold if we don’t make an effort to change how we live our day-to-day lives. It motivates us to seek out information and direction to make our lives (and the lives of the ones we love) … better. But in order to do that we need to start with credible information and resources that meet the following criteria:
- Information that is credible (scientifically proven)
- Provide motivation and support
- Address all aspects of health and wellness (physical, emotional, mental and social)
Below are online resources for those of you looking for information and action strategies:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov)
- Let’s Move: America’s Move to Raise a Healthier Generation of Kids (www.letsmove.gov)
- Shape Up America! (www.shapeup.org)
Next Steps …
How are you going help turn this obesity epidemic around? Will the journey start with you? Are you going to be the change you expect to see in others? Will you set an example and help others make a life changing start?