Best Life: Obesity in America, new projections and new solutions

Updated: Jun. 17, 2020 at 8:21 AM CDT
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ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Obesity is a term that means you have a body mass index of 30 or higher. It makes you more likely to develop certain medical conditions and to die sooner. Ivanhoe reports on new statistics.

The number of obese Americans has reached epidemic proportions and a new projection shows it’s likely to get worse!

A team of scientists analyzed more than 20 years of data and found by 2030, nearly one in two adults will be obese. Also nearly one in four will be severely obese. Obesity contributes to many serious medical conditions, including: heart disease, stroke, cancer, type-two diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, gout, and asthma.

“People can lose weight, but then you have to maintain it, and so lifestyle is just an absolute key component,” explained Priscilla Hollander, MD, from Baylor University Medical Center.

Of course, a healthy diet and plenty of exercise are the best ways to combat obesity. Some experts have also encouraged efforts to tax unhealthy foods, such as sugar-sweetened beverages. It’s worked in cities like Philadelphia where a soda tax of 1.5 cents an ounce went into effect three years ago. Total purchases declined by 38 percent! And with one-third of meals being eaten out, restaurants can help by offering fewer processed foods with lower amounts of sugar, salt, and fat. And there’s good news …

“Surprisingly, you get the greatest bang for your buck at a five percent weight loss,” shared Samuel Klein, MD, a gastroenterologist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

The new analysis, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, also revealed severe obesity will become the most common weight category among women, non-Hispanic black adults and low-income adults in the U.S.

Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, Producer; and Roque Correa, Editor.

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