Obesity and Severe Obesity Forecasts Through 2030

Health Services and Systems Research Program, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore.
American journal of preventive medicine (Impact Factor: 4.53). 06/2012; 42(6):563-70. DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2011.10.026
Source: PubMed


Previous efforts to forecast future trends in obesity applied linear forecasts assuming that the rise in obesity would continue unabated. However, evidence suggests that obesity prevalence may be leveling off.
This study presents estimates of adult obesity and severe obesity prevalence through 2030 based on nonlinear regression models. The forecasted results are then used to simulate the savings that could be achieved through modestly successful obesity prevention efforts.
The study was conducted in 2009-2010 and used data from the 1990 through 2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). The analysis sample included nonpregnant adults aged ≥ 18 years. The individual-level BRFSS variables were supplemented with state-level variables from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the American Chamber of Commerce Research Association, and the Census of Retail Trade. Future obesity and severe obesity prevalence were estimated through regression modeling by projecting trends in explanatory variables expected to influence obesity prevalence.
Linear time trend forecasts suggest that by 2030, 51% of the population will be obese. The model estimates a much lower obesity prevalence of 42% and severe obesity prevalence of 11%. If obesity were to remain at 2010 levels, the combined savings in medical expenditures over the next 2 decades would be $549.5 billion.
The study estimates a 33% increase in obesity prevalence and a 130% increase in severe obesity prevalence over the next 2 decades. If these forecasts prove accurate, this will further hinder efforts for healthcare cost containment.

    • "Within the USA, more than one-third of adults are obese, and more than 6% are severely obese (Fryar, Carroll, & Ogden, 2014). By 2030, it is estimated that there will be a 33% increase in obesity and a 130% increase in severe obesity (Finkelstein et al., 2012) – thus more than 1 in 10 American adults will be severely obese. Consistent with its prevalence, obesity also produces a substantial economic burden, costing an estimated $147 billion dollars in 2008. "
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    • "Obesity and its consequences are some of the leading causes of mortality in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control recently reported a nationwide obesity rate of 35%, a number that is expected to grow to a staggering 51% by the year 2030 if current trends persist [1] [2]. While cancer is also a leading cause of death in the US, screening and early detection programs combined with improved treatment modalities are creating a growing number of long-term cancer survivors. "
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