Study: 42% Of Americans Will Be Obese By 2030.
A new report on US obesity projections received heavy coverage, with network news broadcasts devoting nearly four minutes to the study. Most sources emphasized the costs and health burden associated with an increasingly obese population, but many also pointed to the fact that obesity rates have stabilized in recent years.
NBC Nightly News (5/7, story 7, 2:50, Williams) reported, “For everyone American who worries about their weight or the weight of their children, there is a stunning prediction tonight. Health experts warn that by the year 2030, a staggering 42% of Americans will officially be obese.”
The CBS Evening News (5/7, story 7, 0:35, Pelley) reported that currently, “nearly 36% of adults in this country…are obese.”
ABC World News (5/7, story 6, 0:30, Sawyer) reported, “In addition to the physical consequences, the CDC estimates obesity will increase health care costs another $555 billion.”
USA Today (5/8, Hellmich) reports, “The analysis was presented at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s ‘Weight of the Nation'” conference. The research (pdf) “is being published online in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.”
The Washington Post (5/8, Brown) reports, “Cynthia L. Ogden, an epidemiologist at the CDC, told the conference that, in general, obesity rates changed little in the 1960s and 1970s, rose steeply in the 1980s and 1990s, and have been leveling off in the past decade.”
The Los Angeles Times (5/8, Healy) reports, “The sobering projections also contained some good news, the researchers said: Obesity’s growth has slowed from the record pace of most of the last 30 years. If those trends were to continue, 51% of American adults would qualify as obese in 2030.”
Bloomberg BusinessWeek (5/8, Lopatto) reports, “The findings predict that the number of people who are severely obese, or about 100 pounds overweight, will double to 11 percent.”
The AP (5/8) reports, “That could be an ominous consequence of childhood obesity. Half of severely obese adults were obese as children, and they put on more pounds as they grew up, said” CDC obesity specialist Dr. William Dietz.
The NPR (5/8, Graham) “Shots” blog reports that in a statement, Dietz said, “We know more than ever about the most successful strategies that will help Americans live healthier, more active lives and reduce obesity rates and medical costs.”
The CBS News (5/8) “HealthPop” blog quotes Dietz’s statement as saying, “In the coming days at our Weight of the Nation conference, CDC and its partners will emphasize the proven, effective strategies and solutions that must continue to be applied to help make the healthy choice the easy choice.” The blog adds, “The obesity epidemic has led to a rise in obesity-related chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and several types of cancer.” Research published “earlier this year in…the journal Cancer found rates for cancers of the esophagus, uterus, pancreas and kidney were on the rise, with obesity being a likely factor.”
The National Journal (5/8, Fox, Subscription Publication) reports that the researchers wrote, “Linear-time trend forecasts suggest that by 2030, 51 percent of the population will be obese. The model estimates a much lower obesity prevalence of 42 percent.” However, “if obesity were to remain at 2010 levels, the combined savings in medical expenditures over the next two decades would be $549.5 billion.”
The ABC News (5/8, Gann) “Medical Unit” blog reports, “The authors analyzed data collected from each state and made projections based on a number of factors influencing obesity rates, including the cost of healthy and unhealthy foods, gas prices and Internet access.”
The CNN (5/8) “The Chart” blog reports, “They also looked at variables such as…the number of fast food restaurants and annual household income.”
The Washington Times (5/8, Billups) reports that the researchers “said no one variable emerged to explain obesity’s rise.”
Also covering the story were the Wall Street Journal (5/8, McKay) “Health Blog,” the Deseret (UT) Morning News (5/8, Collins), HealthDay (5/8, Gardner), WebMD (5/8, DeNoon), and MedPage Today (5/8, Fiore).