Fat and getting fatter: U.S. obesity rates to soar by 2030

Comments (44)
jeff81201 wrote:

No they won’t. We’ll get our act together before then.

Sep 18, 2012 10:56am EDT  --  Report as abuse
MikeyLikesIt wrote:

Obviously this is a problem, but to be honest I do question the standards for determining obesity. When I joined a gym a few years back I had to be “evaluated” by one of the trainers.

At that time I was 6’3″ and weiged 215 lbs. Certainly I was overweight (especially in the beer gut area), but when the trainer told me I qualified as obese I thought he was joking.

Again I’m not saying that this isn’t a problem in our country, but I wonder if maybe a little mis-diagnosis is being employed to raise the fear mongering a little. To what end I have no idea.

Sep 18, 2012 11:03am EDT  --  Report as abuse
tcoss wrote:

Curiously a diabetic will check their blood sugar several times a day, we all check the fuel gauge on our car several times a week and still most weight management companies suggest people weigh only once a week, just how is that working for us. A curious California company called TheHeartCloud.com is seeking to change that by monitoring entire families as well as individuals daily, along with Clinical Informatics background, this works.

This is a sad, tragedy that’s both fixable and avoidable.

Sep 18, 2012 11:19am EDT  --  Report as abuse
mauiwelch wrote:

The CDC predicts that by 2030, 42% of Americans will be obese.

The traditional view that blames obesity on a failure of personal responsibility and individual will power is being questioned in the report. The IOM panel argues that people cannot truly exercise “personal choice” because their options are severely limited, and biased toward the unhealthy end of the continuum.

“We are living in a food carnival, constantly bombarded by food cues, almost all of them unhealthy”. David Kessler former head of the USDA.

My thoughts.

I don’t mean to sound selfish here but I do believe at its core; Self Preservation is the primary motivation, it is human nature. By primary, I mean, it is the initial motivation that is the catalyst for your personal change. As an example,

I do believe if offered, more people could make healthier choices and in turn slowly chip away at the obesity of a nation. I do believe this is happening now. It is happening because the causation is disease and sickness. As I have stated before: The current path is unsustainable because it is killing off the customers. But it is going to take time. Lots of time.

Changing policies and public opinion, is like stopping the Titanic. At cruising speed of 32 knots it would take under a mile. The momentum is simply to powerful at this point to make significant change. My suggestion is to abandon ship. Grab your loved ones, jump on the nearest life raft, and row for your life.

Unfortunately, it is going to take a lot more grisly statistics until we see change; and the change will come from the consumers demanding it, not policy makers. You can build more sidewalks, a suggestion from the IOM, but you can’t make someone walk on them. However, diagnose someone with obesity related disease and you will likely create a pedestrian.

Take care of yourself. I have begun the process of reversing my heart disease and the results are already showing a reduction of the plaque in my carotid arteries. Simple, I base all my nutritional intake on plants and avoid oil.


Ian Welch

Sep 18, 2012 11:25am EDT  --  Report as abuse
jeff81201 wrote:

I wnet to Italy last year. Saw one fat person the whole time I was there. Traveled along the coast from Rome to southern France to southern England. The further I went, the heavier people got. By the time I was in England, it was almost like America.

We are a grotesquely obese nation running up deficit and greenhouse gases so that we can get even fatter. It’s becoming a national security issue. We have become weak and many of our citizens delude themselves with the notion of “exceptionalism.” It’s laughable.

Yet I still believe we will rally.

We will get our act together. Good health and lean mass is partriotic. .

Sep 18, 2012 11:33am EDT  --  Report as abuse
PugetEGroup wrote:

Exercise? Diet? You know; if it were that easy everyone would do it.
This problem has nothing to do with exercise, and everything to do with GMOs.
GMOs were developed to a) sell farm herbicide chemicals and b) fatten up farm animals, you know, pigs, cows, chickens. And they did a GREAT job.
But GMO’s are transient meaning they move. And they move to you too.
These fingers are being pointed at every possible “cause” so no one suspects the GMOs.
But: we have the clinical proof: USDA/FDA wouldn’t allow real scientific proof be submitted by private companies against something that they have already given approval for.
So fat, obese and, according to other “research” stupid you will be!

Sep 18, 2012 11:39am EDT  --  Report as abuse
jrj906202 wrote:

Thousands of miles of sidewalks,here in So California,getting little use.Meanwhile millions of single occupant,overweight drivers suffering lots of traffic.I read the average worker lives 7 miles from their job.That’s an easy bike ride and,if the average is 7 miles,many are within walking distance.I also see lots of parents picking up/dropping off their lazy,entitled kids at school.I always walked or biked to school.No reason these kids can’t walk or bike.

Sep 18, 2012 11:41am EDT  --  Report as abuse
maynardjk wrote:

I think you didn’t have a very good trainer. At 6’3″ and 215lbs, your BMI is 26.9, which places you in the overweight range. For your height, “obesity” would start at 240lbs.

•Underweight =

Sep 18, 2012 11:41am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Cwolf88 wrote:


Sep 18, 2012 11:56am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Cwolf88 wrote:


Sep 18, 2012 11:56am EDT  --  Report as abuse
DetroitNative wrote:

The Hegelian Principle at work yet again. So what freedom are they going to eventually strip from us to solve this one eh?

Sep 18, 2012 12:05pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
diluded0000 wrote:

Warning. Humor. I think the reason the obesity rate in Colorado is lowest is because the food here is terrible. Good luck finding chicken fried steak that didn’t start out frozen.

Sep 18, 2012 12:27pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Deb1234 wrote:

The state just built a new interstate interchange here. All of the roads surrounding it have been widened to include sidewalks, including the disability ramps at crosswalks, and special “walk” lights, with the go/don’t go hands at every intersection. There are many intersections, so a lot of these. I’m sure this greatly added to the expense of the intersection and was probably because of a federal regulation.

This was built almost a year ago and to date I have yet to see a single pedestrian using the sidewalks – despite the fact that there are 2 housing developments less than a mile away. A department store has been built at the interchange, together with 4 office buildings. Anyone walk there? Nope. We do NOT get out of our cars.

Sep 18, 2012 12:28pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
brotherkenny4 wrote:

Weak willed people make better subjects and tend to get trained to follow. Obese people just have a specific weakness. I’ll bet they had a good self image when they were being educated for their future roles.

Sep 18, 2012 12:33pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
jdsickler wrote:

@DetroitNative they won’t take your freedom of Ring Dings. I’ll champion your cause. I’ll fight for your right to wash big macs down with a nice big 64 ounce Coke. That’s what the Founders would have wanted.

Sep 18, 2012 12:43pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
jaredsheetz wrote:

This is certainly unsettling, but I try and keep in mind that cardiovascular fitness has proven to be a better indicator of overall health than the BMI index.

Sep 18, 2012 12:49pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

Yes this will drive health costs up but it will also take pressure off of Social Security as these jumbo size folks die off sooner.

Sep 18, 2012 12:53pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

PugetGroup writes: “This problem has nothing to do with exercise, and everything to do with GMOs.”

Incorrect. It’s actually just calories. If you eat more than 2,000 calories per day…. you’ll be fat. Even if you think you burn more than that because you’re somehow more ‘active’ than other people you probably aren’t. Eat 1,500 calories per day and nothing bad will happen. People do it all over the earth.

Fat is a lifestyle choice. It’s not the worst one, but it’s pretty costly.

Sep 18, 2012 12:58pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
TheLeGiOn wrote:

This is terrible. They should make like 200 new federal laws to combat this monstrosity.

Sep 18, 2012 1:05pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

I have to agree on the ‘trainer’ thing noted above. These are the jocks who couldn’t make the pro’s, and they’re too stupid to cut it as medical professionals. So they become ‘trainers’ at membership gyms. Half-pervert, half-moron. Rex-Kwon-Do types. No offense to trainers.

Sep 18, 2012 1:06pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
KneeSlapper wrote:

I can’t believe that BMI reflects reality. When I was 18 years old, playing soccer, swimming year-round, I was 5’10″ and weighed 167 lb. My abs back then could deflect a bullet. According to the BMI, I was (167 / 4900 * 703) = 23.96, or NEARLY overweight. I’m now 54, and although I’d like to get down from my current 230, getting back down to 167-170 is probably not realistic. Even if I drop 30 lb., which would put me back into size 32 pants, my BMI would be 28.69, in the middle of overweight and nearly obese. Are you kidding me – a 54 year old man, waste size 32, and nearly obese? Give me a break…

Sep 18, 2012 1:21pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AndyL wrote:

A big part of the problem is Ms. Begley and others are still using the extremely inaccurate and downright stupid measurement of BMI. This naivety contributes to the continued issue that Americans have with their weight. In other words, Mrs. Begley you are part of the problem! Sorry to be blunt, but it’s needed if we are to solve this epidemic.

Sep 18, 2012 1:41pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Wisworker wrote:

…And still many medical insurance companies do not cover bariatric surgeries or Doctor assisted weight loss programs. They see the surgery as experimental even though it has shown success for over 40 years. They would rather hope you died from obesity than cover the cost of eliminating it. Obesity is the #1 killer in the US, but yet insurance companies turn thier back.

Sep 18, 2012 1:51pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AndyL wrote:

Surgery! Are you kidding me . . . this is not the solution. Anyone can lose weight by simply putting less cake in their pie holes. Sounds mean, I know, but you can go down to any % body fat just by following this simple recipe. The last thing I want to do is have to pay into a system where people are using medical professionals and unnecessary surgery (butchery is what it should be called) for something someone can do by getting off the couch and eating less.

Sep 18, 2012 2:14pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
mbgodofwar wrote:

While I think there are a lot of overweight/obese people, BMI isn’t accurate. 6’3″ 215lbs doesn’t sound that bad and packing on muscle will definitely make BMI rise. Gimme a break! 6′, 160lbs…no muscle mass, just a stick.

One cannot always assume that it’s laziness preventing adequate exercise. Costs of different foods, distance to work, work done by a particular family, time spent at work, and farmers’ market availability are all factors that contribute to what a family eats.

Sep 18, 2012 2:22pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Yamdizzle wrote:

Obviously if see an upwards slope and do a basic linear regression you will see even further growth and a function that says 150% of Americans are obese by 2050. Things that we should be happy about, these guys are only doing estimates for pointless measures, not investment decisions.

Sep 18, 2012 2:43pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
jdsickler wrote:

I love the people that come out of the woodwork to declare that BMI is inaccurate. Yes, it is an estimation. Yes, if you are a professional athlete it’s a poor indicator of your physical health. For the vast majority of Americans, it’s absolutely fine. “Just a stick” is how human beings used to look only 20 years ago. Now an overweight person seems skinny by comparison.

Sep 18, 2012 2:48pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
mikemm wrote:

The majority of Americans will only keep from being obese through advances in medications and surgical procedures, and not from eating better and excercising. Food is too addictive and advertizing and profits keep pushing the limits of calorie consumption per day.

Advances in medicine to fool the metabalism and cut absorbtion may be able to keep people somewhat thin so they can eat all the junk they want, and that may help with strain on the heart and joints, but just not being fat isn’t the same as being healthy. It may be possible to limit heart disease and diabetes though medicine alone, but cancers and other immune type diseases will probably increase as diets continue to get worse and more untested chemicals are added to the food supply. Lifestyle changes and excercise are the only sure way and I don’t see that as an acceptable option for more than a minority in our culture.

This is the push I’ve needed to finally lose those extra pounds that have been so stubborn to drop and get back into a healthy lifestyle to add both quality and years to he life I still have ahead of me. The lifestyle change (not a diet) starts tonight and goes into full effect first thing tomorrow.

Sep 18, 2012 3:24pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Steve_from_MI wrote:

people are eating too much processed foods made with high fructose corn syrup. this cheap sugar alternative directly impact glucose production, causing insulin to spike and store the excess sugar as fat tissue.

Sep 18, 2012 3:33pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
KeithMiller wrote:

Yeah…Doing that equation is a horrible way to see what your BMI is. If I do it that way, I’m 71 inches tall an 180lbs. My BMI would be 25.1, making me overweight. I go to the gym just about every day, eat as healthy as I can, and have very little fat on me. The best way to find out if they’re fat or not is to use calipers and what not.

Sep 18, 2012 3:49pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

Unless you have an NFL body, the BMI is a pretty good place to start in determining if you have a weight problem. You can keep making excuses for yourself, but if you’re a dude who is 5′ 11 and 220 pounds…. you’re getting schlubby and fat. It’s that simple. You may not be as fat as your brother-in-law or the fattest dude at Walmart. But you’re on your way. And you will get fatter. You can either eat less or keep bemoaning the ‘limitations and general inaccuracies of the BMI.”

Go to any health web site, see how much you should weigh, and they are probably right.

Sep 18, 2012 3:59pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
LibertyDiva wrote:

Uh, hello? Shouldn’t parents be responsible for their children’s health and not the government?

Sep 18, 2012 4:17pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

Kneeslapper, if you’re 5′ 10 and you get back down to 200 pounds….. you won’t be in size 32 pants. That’s a 34 or 36. You’ll hit 32 at around 175 pounds.

You have said your current weight is 230. Currently in 38′s I’ll bet. Do not throw out the BMI baseed on false assumptions.

Sep 18, 2012 5:05pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
gAnton wrote:

I live in Mexico, and the over-eating and wrong-eating problems here seems to be pretty much the same as that in the US. Just in the last week, I have seen over ten people who were much fatter than anyone I have seen before in my life, and two out of three of these mega-fat persons were woman.

Of the comments that I perused here, what alarmes me the most is the complete lack of criticism of American medical and political institutions. In general, American doctors are ignorant and uneducated of human nutrition, and American politicians are much more concerned with protecting the wealth of the food manufacturing industries than they are about protecting the health of the American people.

I suggest that anyone interested in understanding the economic, social, political, academic, and medical reasons for the widespread and preventable human disease epidemics of diabetus, cancer, heart attacks, auto-immune diseases, etc. read Dr. Cambell´s book “The China Study” available from Amazon and other book retailers. (The book is also available in Spanish under the title “El Estudio de China”.)

Wake up, Obama–the magic health problem solution word is “PREVENTION”.

Sep 18, 2012 6:18pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
mlasell2 wrote:

Believe it or not, there is new medical data on this subject. You can get down to your high school weight in 3 months with little effort besides a change in eating habits. Read Wheat Belly by Dr Davis, a cardiologist with 2000 patients. It is a current best seller. I dropped 25 lbs in 2 months, and quit 3 medications I was on.

Sep 18, 2012 6:41pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

gAnton, the government is not why people are fat. Americans are the fattest people on earth for the same reason that they are the most indebted nation on earth. It’s a general sense of entitlement, exceptionalism and excess at every level, and it pervades the culture.

In general, it’s a good thing. It is an adaptation to prevent starvation. But you have to be careful. Eventually you squish the young and lie around in your own vomit :)

Sep 18, 2012 7:11pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
gAnton wrote:


Firstly, I didn´t say that the government is why people are fat–what I accused the government of is malfeasance and putting the commercial interests of the food industry ahead of the health interests of the population. Examples of abuse are rife and politically based (like the unheathy dietary recomdations of the USDA, and federal and dairy industry control of the school lunch programs, etc.). While this is not the place to go into detail, what I will say is that there is much abuse and it is well documented in a wide based literature.

Secondly, my main emphasis is health, and not fatness. There are many examples where medical doctors reject a more effective dietary cure using the excuse that the patient probably was not capable of following the diet. He shoud ask the patient, “Which do you love more–life or eggs for breakfast?”

Sep 18, 2012 9:00pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

“4 Americans die every 18 minutes from the food they eat.
Diet related disease is the # 1 killer in the U.S.”

Jamie Oliver

This fellow gives a TED talk worth watching. He knows and describes the problem from 1 end to the other. And it’s what you don’t know that is the problem.

Sep 18, 2012 12:17am EDT  --  Report as abuse
paperpushermj wrote:

Hey if you give me control of the definition of obese I’ll guaranty you 100% obesity rate in any given state or community.

Sep 19, 2012 1:39am EDT  --  Report as abuse
WTH100 wrote:

Education= knowing what is the food you consume and caring enough to find out. The reason there is an epidemic of obesity in America is because too many people trust that what they are eating is healthy. They never question.. why would the government allow things like MSGs, aspartame, and GMOs that harm me, be allowed into the food? Being poor in this situation is not necessarily a deal breaker… there are still affordable foods you can buy if you are educated on what kinds of food to avoid (e.g., as strange as it sounds… foods that contain aspartame actually make you crave sugar, MSGs (monosodium glutamate) which is in a lot of food products (salad dressing, etc.) and has many different names, but, it, too, after consuming it, causes a person to think “I want something… I just don’t know what I want… which starts a cycle of overeating.

Sep 19, 2012 6:32am EDT  --  Report as abuse
appetoni wrote:

Americans will be fine if they stop eating processed foods with modified corn syrup from genetically modified Monsanto corn.

Sep 19, 2012 2:38pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
appetoni wrote:

Steve from MI has it right. This modified high fructose corn syrup is killing us.

Sep 19, 2012 2:40pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
bumpkinpm wrote:

The ONLY reason that humans are becoming more obese is simply because the FDA et al, sanction and protect the addition of MSG and its twins- (they simply rename it) -which is a neurotoxin, that’s ONLY use is to force the people who ingest it in nearly EVERY packaged food to want MORE of whatever it is that is ingested. “Lay’s Potato Chips… Betcha can’t eat just ONE!” is the truth, unfortunately,even though the ban would stop obesity. Because of BIG agri/food Business, because of lobbyists and palm-greasers, the leaders of America will not force the ban of it. Too much money is at stake for both the politician and the food industry. They basically do not care one whit for any of us, the consumer. We are purchasers, and that is ALL we are to them.

Sep 21, 2012 2:15am EDT  --  Report as abuse
KneeSlapper wrote:


Actually, when I was 18 @167 lb., I was in size 28 pants. I don’t expect to see THAT again, but size 32 @200 isn’t out of the question, as I’m size 36 @230.

It’s a matter of bone structure with me. I’ve always been heavy for my size, but I’ve always had large, heavy bones. Virtually every height / weight chart generated by the government has shown me to be overweight, even as a child.

I believe that percentage body fat is a more reliable measure of overall health and fitness… (not sure where I fall on this scale at the moment ;)

Sep 21, 2012 10:22am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.