Obesity, costs and wellness

According to the Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality United States (www.ahrq.gov), all US adults could be overweight in forty years. This frightening prediction is one of the findings in this study funded by the US government. Two thirds of the population is already classed as being overweight, and thus, any increase would cause alarm. These new projections, published recently in the journal Obesity, are based on data collected for about 34 years.

Around the year 2030, 86% of American adults will be overweight, with an obesity rate of 51%. Obesity is defined as a 20% above the recommended weight according to height and age, while overweight is defined as a less healthy weight for their age and height. If this trend continues, by 2048 all US adults may be at least in moderate overweight rating.

The study predicts that weight problems are most severe in specific groups, especially among african-Americans and descendants of Mexicans born in the United States. All african-American women and 90% of the descendants of Mexican men will be overweight by 2034.

Genetically and physiologically would be impossible for all US adults to turn into overweight people, said Dr. Lan Liang, an investigator of the study. However, the information suggests: this is the direction in which we are following. This is actually a warning sign to show what could happen if nothing changes, she said.

If nothing changes the health care costs directly related to overweight and obesity will double every decade, reaching US$ 957 billion in 2030, representing a sixth of the cost of medical care in the United States.

Talk to people to eat less and do more exercise is not enough; more far-reaching efforts are needed to improve the lifestyle of Americans and keep your weight at healthy levels. Other suggestions include: improving pavements of communities, facilitating the habit of walking and cause the food industry to offer healthier foods, and aims to provide lower calorie foods. Dr. Liang says still, in fact, makes it necessary that efforts are not restricted to personal efforts; It requires a joint effort of the whole society.

We believe that, from a corporate perspective, companies will continue with their actions to continue with their incentive programs for their employees to take care of weight and overall health by promoting prevention campaigns against attitudes and unhealthy behaviors.

Copyright 2001 by The Herman Group.
Reproduction is permitted provided that the source is acknowledged with.
Articles Roger Herman and Joyce Gioya, Business Futurists and associated consultants TDC Professional Training.
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Published on 20/08/2008.

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