A new national study on obesity looks ahead 20 years, and while the outlook isn’t great, it highlights a few encouraging trends.
The Trust for America’s Health doesn’t mince words in its report on obesity, starting with the title: “F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future.” The annual report shows that, nationally, 35 percent of American adults are obese.
“We also looked to the future and projected what things might look like in 2030,” added Jeffrey Levi, the groups’ executive director. “And that was even more disturbing.”
If obesity rates continue on their current trajectory, the report says in 20 years, nearly half the adults in every state will be obese. In 13 states, including Delaware, the rate will exceed 60 percent.
Among all the bad news, the report spotlights some positive developments.
Philadelphia was lauded for lowering obesity rates in public school children through a decade-long collaboration with The Food Trust. Black male students and Hispanic female students, two groups that had significantly higher obesity rates, have seen the greatest improvements. Levi says Philadelphia should serve as a model.
“It’s a significant change,” Levi said. “And if we can replicate that, keep up that pace and replicate it over time, then these projections, we hope will be proven false.”
The report recommends fully implementing existing prevention programs, including some in the Affordable Care Act, saying it would significantly slow down the obesity trend.