ONTD Political

CDC Predicts Fat Shaming Epidemic

9:26 am - 05/08/2012
Fat Forecast: 42% of Americans Could Be Obese by 2030

If Americans keep getting heavier at the current rate, 42% of the population will be obese by 2030, a new study says. The increase accounts for an additional 32 million obese Americans and a whopping $549.5 billion in medical expenditures over the same time frame.

The rise in obesity rates has slowed over the past decade or so, settling at about 36% — or 78 million U.S. adults — in 2010. The new public health report presented on Monday at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Weight of the Nation conference in Washington, D.C., predicts that unchecked, that rate could increase by 33% by 2030.

“Should these forecasts prove accurate, the adverse health and cost consequences of obesity are likely to continue to escalate without a significant intervention,” said study author Dr. Justin Trogdon of RTI International, a nonprofit research organization, in a statement.

The number of people with severe obesity — those with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40, or who are about 100 lbs. over their healthy weight — is predicted to rise to 11% by 2030, from 5% in 2010. (Obesity is defined as having a BMI of 30 or higher.) Severely obese people are at greater risk for weight-related diseases like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea and cancer and, therefore, account for a greater proportion of medical costs to the country.

“They also have a much shorter life expectancy and generate greater lifetime medical costs, suggesting that future health care costs may continue to increase even if obesity prevalence levels off,” the authors say in the study.

Previous projections had estimated that more than 50% of Americans would be obese by 2030, but the authors of the current study thought that figure was high. To gain a better perspective on obesity in the U.S. and to make a more accurate prediction, lead researcher Dr. Eric Finkelstein, an associate research professor at the Duke Global Health Institute, and his team used data on more than 100,000 people involved in the 2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) — a state-based, cross-sectional telephone survey conducted by the CDC and state health departments.

The survey captured people’s self-reported height and weight. The researchers then also factored in variables that influence obesity rates like the prices of food, alcohol and fuel, annual unemployment rates, household income, the number of fast-food restaurants, and the rate of Internet use.

“We found that obesity is still increasing, but increasing at a decreasing rate,” said Dr. Finkelstein in a teleconference on Monday.

The data did not include children, so the estimates could be conservative. Obese children typically become obese adults.

The researchers hope their findings will spur nationwide initiatives to curb weight gain. “We know more than ever about the most successful strategies that will help Americans live healthier, more active lives and reduce obesity rates and medical costs,” said Dr. William Dietz, director of the CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, in a statement. ”People need to make healthy choices, but the healthy choices must first be available and accessible in order to make them.”

Strategies that are known to help people stay fit include building recreational facilities, improving urban design, increasing anti-obesity social marketing programs, adding workplace health promotion programs and developing new drugs and technologies.

The authors note that their estimate is just that — an estimate. “We’re almost surely wrong in our forecast,” Finkelstein told CNN. “That’s the thing about forecasts — they are guesses. This is our best guess. The world changes, if new drugs or technology comes out, if the government comes out and makes major changes, lots could happen. If in fact we’re wrong and obesity rates are less, I’d be happy.”

The study is published online by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Source wants to know if its font makes it look fat.

Here's a link to the original paper. [warning: PDF]

*turns off notifications*

Edited to restore tags.
schmutzigs 8th-May-2012 09:13 pm (UTC)
Oh God, this is awful. I had no idea that there was such a policy failure the US with such drastic consequences. If you have become diabetic because you can't afford healthy food, there must be tons of others who suffer from this as well. I can't believe that this is so overlooked (at least in the Dutch press covering poverty in the US). I can't believe nothing is done about this. Or is there?
What I don't quite understand is how things would have been different if you were born a boy, concerning this no healthy food=diabetic problem.

Do you think this gets enough press coverage in your own country? How have people responded to this?
perthro 8th-May-2012 10:01 pm (UTC)
My blood sugar was a little high, but if it was just the food, I might have been able to correct it when I got into my late teens (before being completely broke as an adult again). And plenty of people know this crap food makes us sick. There's just nothing we can do about it. Those who don't were largely failed by our educational system to know enough to be able to read, and therefore can't* make informed decisions (soooo many Americans are illiterate). The people who CAN do something substantial to fix it refuse to. We're stuck.

But I might have made it. Until the progesterone disorder threw it into overdrive.

Apparently, even the OB/GYNs (a handful of them) I went to didn't understand that 'pregnancy hormones' aren't just about pregnancy- they affect the ENTIRE body. So there's THAT giant educational gap here.

Women's health works like this: IF you have health insurance (which, millions of us don't), then you go to an OB/GYN for a recommendation to a specialist (in this case, an endocrinologist) to test hormone levels. IF you can afford BOTH the endocrinologist AND the OB/GYN, then you might* be able to afford testing too (a separate fee from the office fees). Then, once they can prove you have a hormonal disorder, you can look at therapy... which means paying for ANOTHER OB/GYN visit, and for the hormonal therapy- IF the OB/GYN understands that there's an imbalance affecting more than your ability to reproduce. You might have to go to a few. Most of the time, birth control of some kind fixes it. Which can be $4-150 out of pocket per dose.

For me, it didn't work; blood clots in my eyes and legs made it too dangerous. BUT I'm a girl! And that means that the three hour hysterectomy surgery that COULD have cured me... has been refused. Since my ovaries are slowly failing *anyways*, meaning I can't have kids even if I wanted them (which, I don't and never have), it's no big deal. But no. Refusal. By several doctors. I called every single one on two hospital referral lists in three cities. Apparently, I don't know what I want because I'm too young to decide about kids! It should be my HUSBAND'S decision! How will I be productive in society if I don't CONTRIBUTE? (Apparently, my life's worth is determined by how many offspring I produce, not what I actually DO with my talents. Adoption, if I so chose, doesn't count either!)

And now, the fallout is mine to deal with. I just have to do my best to eat right and take calcium constantly. Don't go jogging or exercise much, since it overtaxes my heart, and I've already gone into cardiac arrest once in the past year, and nearly did so a week before that. If there's nothing but sugar to eat, I might just decide not to eat at all. And if there's anything sweet that I do love and want to have a little, I have to watch myself the whole day. I don't need insulin yet, but I don't want to get that bad, either. It's the horror of watching myself fall apart, KNOWING that there is a cure, and... people who are not me dictate whether or not I *deserve* that cure. If I weren't a girl, my childrearing decisions would never have been questioned. You can get sterilized if you're a man at 18, no questions asked. But if you're a girl and you don't want kids, you're defective, monstrous, or you're incompetent and don't know what you're talking about. You might be a legal adult, but you can't make your own decisions about your body. You are at someone else's mercy.

If I weren't a girl, and if I weren't poor, I would have had a chance.

Fuck America. When I win millions of dollars, I'm going to someplace that doesn't hate my gender. (<---good fucking luck, right?)
windy_lea 9th-May-2012 12:01 am (UTC)
Sorry you're dealing with all this. The patronization of women in America (and in other places around the world) has GOT to stop. I'll almost certainly spend all my life trying to get what gains we can and avoid as little regression as possible, though.

Fucking conservatives.
schmutzigs 9th-May-2012 08:35 am (UTC)
Wow, this blows my mind. I am so sorry you have to go through all of this and that you don't have a choice. The more I read about health, women and racial issues in the US, the less I understand it and the most disgusted I feel.
How come there isn't any bigger resentment? Where are is the opposition pointing every wrong step out?

Honestly, I don't think I can grasp what you go through but I wish you all the best and dear I hope for some big anti-movement that will support/listen to you and many others in the near future. Vox populi.
perthro 9th-May-2012 05:58 pm (UTC)
I think I recall discussing this with my Austrian friend.

One part is that we know we're disenfranchised, and have become simply apathetic. Because no matter how many protests there are, they don't do anything substantial. There's literally no point. I'm convinced that our votes don't count, even though I still go out and vote (most people I know do not).

Another big part is that Euro countries are small. They're the size of our states. And our states, whether people realize it or not, are mostly rural. Relatively small population to land mass ratio; we're spread out. If some crazy-ass shit that happens here had happened in, say, Vienna, people from all over the country would show up on politician's front doorsteps in hours/days, depending on where they lived and what kind of transportation was available.

Here, we have little or no public transport even in the city, and an increasingly high population of people too poor to own cars. Even if we WANTED to protest, we'd have to find a way to get to the place to protest AT... IF we could afford to lose the $40 we'd make that day to feed the kids or keep a roof over our heads. If something happened in Tallahassee, and you live in Key West, you would have to get a car (or some like minded friends with transportation), enough money to leave for a day or two, and drive the equivalent of AN ENTIRE EURO COUNTRY to get there. If something happened in Washington DC, I'd have to drive about the equivalent of Italy to Germany. And if no transportation is available, try walking that far.

IF I were able to get there, then I'd have to face arrest for just being there. Usually trespassing charges, disturbing the peace, etc. America is an incarceration nation. One arrest, no matter what for, can prevent you from getting jobs here. Being arrested in FL means losing your existing job sometimes, too. And you have to pay hundreds, sometimes thousands, in bail money. Then you have to pay for a public defender in court, and court costs. Public defenders are NOT free. So if you're poor, you have double the incentive to NOT get arrested, no matter what.

And as for the rich... everything in right in their little worlds. So there's no reason to protest.
schmutzigs 9th-May-2012 06:17 pm (UTC)
i think this is the trap so many governments like their citizens to be in.
and it is digusting.

you're right. when i wrote my previous comment i realized how easy it is to get press coverage on stuff, compared to the us. we are small, everything is easier. and the eu ties so much together, quite often it is in the disadvantage of governments not to listen.

i wish i could express how much i symphathize but i fear i say something that might come off as condescending, which is not at all what i intend to get across. i don't know what to say in matters like this where humanity seems at loss. can i say that i feel "so sorry for you" without embarassing both you and me? no. let me put it this way, and please tell me if i come off as condescending or privileged; i symphatize and i hope things get better for you, i hope more options will be available and i hope that whatever happens, you will be okay.
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