Weighty Matters: All 50 U.S. States Could Have Obesity Rates Above 44% By 2030

If current obesity trends continue, all 50 of the U.S. states could have obesity rates above 44 percent by 2030, according to a new report by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Health Group and the Trust for America's Health.

Obesity rates may exceed 60 percent in 13 states while 39 states could have rates above 50 percent over the next 20 years, adds the report.

Mississippi could top the list of obese states with a rate of 66.7 percent and Colorado could have the lowest rate at 44.8 percent in 2030. Mississippi had an obesity rate of 34.9 percent and Colorado's was 20.7 percent in 2011, according to the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report also forecasts that the rates of obesity-related diseases namely, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke, hypertension and arthritis could increase 10 times between 2010 and 2020, and double again by 2030.

It is estimated that there are currently over 25 million Americans with type 2 diabetes, 27 million with chronic heart disease, 68 million suffering from hypertension and 50 million having arthritis.

If the states' obesity rates continue at the current trends, there could be more than 6 million cases of type 2 diabetes, 5 million cases of coronary heart disease and stroke, and more than 400,000 cases of cancer in the next two decades, the report predicts.

The report projects the medical costs associated with treating preventable obesity -related diseases to increase by $48 billion to $66 billion per year in the United States by 2030. The medical cost of adult obesity in the United States is currently pegged in the range of $147 billion to nearly $210 billion per year.

The state that could see the biggest increase in obesity-related health care costs will be New Jersey with a 34.5 percent spike while Washington, D.C., could see an increase between 15 percent and 20 percent, says the report.

The report suggests that if states could reduce the average body mass index of residents by just 5 percent by 2030, nearly every state could help thousands or millions of people avoid obesity-related diseases and save between 6.5 percent and 7.9 percent in health care costs.

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