Bad news in the battle of the bulge.

According to new research published in the medical journal Lancet, half of all Americans will be obese by 2030 if current trends continue. Currently, 32 percent of men and 35 percent of women in America are obese, which is defined as having a Body Mass Index of 30 or more.

The estimation not only spells disaster for the health of many Americans, but also for our beleaguered medical system. If the predictions bare out, a rise in the obesity rate would also trigger  7.8 million cases of diabetes, 6.8 million cases of stroke and heart disease, 539,000 cases of cancer, and tack on $66 billion a year to health care costs.

Americans aren’t the only ones getting fatter. Our friends across the pond are also packing on the pounds in staggering numbers. If trends continue, 41 to 48 percent of men in the UK and 35 to 43 percent of women will be obese by 2030. Currently, 26 percent of the UK’s population is obese.

The numbers are alarming doctors, who say just a one percent decrease in BMI can make a huge difference.

Although doctors recognize that people need to take control of their health by incorporating exercise and healthier eating habits, researchers also say that the communities, the government, and health professionals need to work together.

Claire Wang, assistant professor of health policy and management at Columbia University’s and the author of one of the Lancet papers, told ABC News:

“We hope we can work together to change the trend. We need to change the environment so that we’re able to make easy decisions that happen to be the best decisions; the healthiest decisions.”

She continued: “It’s not only a problem of well-being, it’s a financial burden,” said Wang. “It’s both a public health issue and a health services issue for the states.”

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  • Pink

    The other half is already obese. There are so many fat people all over the country. It’s disconcerting!! Stay away from the fast food people. It’s killing us!

  • Leanee Beanie

    This is no surprise. The way most people eat is ridiculous. I think a lot of people are under an illusion about their habits, like they think they are eating healthy just because their kitchen is full of Nature’s Valley granola bars, Baked Lays, canned fruit in heavy syrup, and low fat cookies. (Take my friend for example, she claims she eats healthy, yet can’t lose weight. I observed her over a week, and she was not measuring her portions of meat, eating late as hell, worked out ONE time (for 10 minutes) in the seven days I stayed with her, and went to get ice cream 3 times in 7 days but because it was low fat ice cream, she felt it was justified.)

    That’s why my husband and I are on a lifetime mission to be healthy and fit. Our toddlers even try to mimic us working out. I refuse to ever be big again.

    On a side note, if this article had the words “Black women” in it, then there would already be 100 comments.

    • Kudos to you for being such a good influence on your little ones and the continuous support that you and your husband provide each other.

      I had a friend who was kind of similar… She was a vegetarian, but she did NOT eat healthy. She would take walks through the woods, but she would rarely challenge herself in a workout. And once we went buy some strawberries, but she could not find chocolate syrup (we were in Costa Rica), so she refused to eat the strawberries without them.

      And you’re right about the keywords: Black Women. Unfortunately, some people need the math done for them, and the numbers right in their face to realize what some events mean to them. The Office of Minority Health states, “In 2009, African American women were 60% more likely to be obese than Non-Hispanic White women.” So I hope that Black Women will realize our culture’s fate before 2030 rolls around. As for me, I’m rolling myself to the gym, cus this Fattie, who loves to eat, ain’t so slim anymore!

  • portion control, i cannot stress it enough. i had to learn it. i had to embrace the concept of eating to live not living to eat. some people eat just to eat, they don’t even stop to chew and savor the food.

    i’m not a medical professional so i cannot go on a tangent about the factors that lead to obesity and steps to prevent it. but i do know is that well being begins with how you treat your body, the things you put in it. a lot of products sold at stores and served at restaurants are harmful filled with pesticides and oil, shameful.

    anyone’s best bet is to go organic, maybe that’s a step in the right direction.