Half of the US population will be obese by 2030.
Half of Americans will be obese and about a quarter of Americans will be “severely obese” within the next 10 years, this, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
According to TIME, researchers led by Zachary Ward at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health analyzed body mass index (BMI) data reported by more than 6.2 million adults who answered questions for the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey (BRFSS), a large phone-based survey conducted by the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal agencies. Because height and weight are self-reported in this survey, the researchers compared these data to those collected from more than 57,000 people in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), another CDC-led database that includes both interviews and physical exams. Using the NHANES data as a template, the scientists adjusted the data from BRFSS to account for any potential self-reporting biases.
Data from the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that most of those considered obese will be non-Hispanic black women with yearly household incomes of less than $50,000, reflecting overall trends showing higher obesity rates among non-Hispanic blacks than among non-Hispanic whites, and among people of lower income compared to those of higher income. Income in particular is a striking factor in obesity; regardless of where people live in the country, lower income is more likely to be associated with overweight or obesity. Obesity rates are also expected higher in some states in the South and Midwest, but the study estimates at least 35% of residents in all 50 states will be obese by 2030.