Eyeing the doughnuts your co-worker brought to the office today? Think about this before you indulge: If Americans continue to gain weight at the current rate, half our population will be obese by 2030. Projections stand at 7.8 million more people with diabetes, 6.8 million who suffer from heart disease and stroke, over half a million new cancer cases, and a national health care bill increased by $66 billion a year, according to a report in The Lancet.
With one-third of the U.S. currently classified as obese, our health care system already feels the strain. In an ABC News article covering the report, Dr. Ken Fujioka, director of the Center for Weight Management at the Scripps Clinic in San Diego, claimed that wait-lists for obesity clinics are now three months long—and growing.
“We’re having trouble keeping up,” Fujioka said. “On the front lines, it’s just frightening.”
He and other health care professionals are calling for public policies that curb sales of unhealthy foods, and community efforts, such as reinstating PE in schools, and individual changes in lifestyle, like eating breakfast, keeping a low-fat diet, going for walks, and watching less TV.
These simple solutions could make a big difference. The article claims that if every obese person brought their body mass index down by just one percent, “as many as 2.4 million diabetes cases, 1.7 million cases of heart disease and stroke, and 127,000 cancer cases could be prevented.”
Still want that doughnut?