42% of nation to be obese by 2030, study predicts
May 7th, 2012
12:22 PM ET

42% of nation to be obese by 2030, study predicts

After years of rising obesity rates in the United States, recent statistics show the rates may have steadied. But that may not be enough, according to a new report released on Monday - it estimates about 42% of the U.S. population will be obese by 2030.

The report suggests an additional 30 million Americans will be obese in 18 years. This would cost an additional $549.5 billion on medical expenditures, according to the report in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

“If you could keep the obesity rates at today’s level, you would save $550 billion,” said Eric Finkelstein, lead author of the report.

About 35% of U.S. adults are obese today, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The obesity projections were released at the CDC's Weight of the Nation conference, which is focused on preventing this growing health problem. A four-part HBO documentary with the same title begins airing next week.

Finkelstein and co-authors estimate that 11% of the population will be severely obese by 2030. Severe obesity is defined as a body mass index over 40 or being roughly 100 pounds overweight. Obese people have shorter life expectancies and greater lifetime medical costs, “suggesting that future healthcare costs may continue to increase even if obesity prevalence levels off,” wrote the authors.

“Those individuals have much greater risk of early mortality, diabetes, heart disease,” said Finkelstein. “They’re much, much more expensive and they’re on the rise, partly because 50 years ago, it was really, really hard to weigh that much. You’d have to eat all the time.”

But modern convenience has made an abundance of cheap and easy calories available, he added.

The authors calculated the future obesity and severe obesity prevalence based on population factors such as gender, age, race, ethnicity, employment data and recent trends.

Prior estimates assumed the level of obesity would continue unabated.

“We thought those estimates were too high,” said Finkelstein, health economist at Duke Global Health Institute. “A better way would be to look at underlying factors of obesity like fast food prices, price of alcohol, internet access, changing demographics.”

They also looked at variables such as the cost of healthy food, grocery prices, the number of fast food restaurants and annual household income.

The projections were based on data from a 2008 study of adults. It did not include children - where one out of three is overweight or obese.

“We just looked at adults,” said Finkelstein. “The reality is obese kids almost certainly become obese adults. Our estimates may be conservative.”

“We’re almost surely wrong in our forecast,” he added. “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.”

Anti-obesity efforts such as recreational facilities, better urban design, work site health promotion, new drugs and technologies could help, wrote the authors.

soundoff (786 Responses)
  1. City On A Shining Hill

    The main reason for this is simply not enough daily, 30 minute aerobic exercise and eating a diet devoid of fiber, too much sugar, saturated fat and processed foods, and not enough fresh veggies, fruits, beans and nuts. Plenty of whole wheat, corn and oats in their natural state do wonders for keeping the weight normal and cholesterol/blood sugar under control Corn syrup in all foods also contributes.

    Fat cells in the body have been shown to grow cancer tumors, due to certain chemicals that overweight individuals give off from not having enough lean muscle and too much fat, laboratory studies reveal. The majority of breast, colon and prostate cancers are due to being overweight and sedantary througout life.

    We are truly what we eat!

    May 8, 2012 at 02:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Veritas

      Nothing worse Google-educated quasi-nutritionists spreading misinformation.

      "Too much fiber"? I think you mean too many CARBS; fiber passes right through our digestive tract without being absorbed. Furthermore, fiber acts as a binding agent, collecting bile as it passes through your system on its way out. When the bile is removed from your body, your body replenishes it using its cholesterol stores (thats how fiber reduces cholesterol). Fiber is one of the most important components of a healthy diet, without it you'd be constipated, by the way, as fiber gives feces it's "bulkiness"; and also, fiber is present in fruits and veggies–what do you think gives their skin its toughness?

      And overweight people do not "give off" different chemicals than the rest of us–I'm not questioning any study (assuming its been peer-reviewed), but your ham-handed interpretation of it. Overweight individuals tend to have greater stores of Vitamin E, which is a fat-soluble vitamin (ie, its stored in your liver's fat cells). However, Vitamin E radicalizes "easier" (trying to talk down to a level you'll understand), and free radicals can cause cancer. The solution then is to take in more anti-oxidants like Vitamin C, which also radicalizes "easier" but is a water-soluble vitamin which is removed from your body through the urine. The Vitamin C becomes radicalized when it is stripped of it's electron to stabilize a Vitamin E molecule, but it doesn't matter because Vitamin C stays in your body for 24 hours tops, whereas Vitamin E stays in your body much longer. Less free radicals = good for health.

      Really, City, do us all a favor and take a Nutrition 101 course before you type.

      May 8, 2012 at 04:37 | Report abuse |
    • Chocolate rain

      Though you quoted it Veritas, they never said "Too much fiber."

      I think you just made a major fool out of yourself.

      May 8, 2012 at 04:46 | Report abuse |
    • Goldfish

      Actually overweight people do "give off" different chemicals.

      One is called Leptin. Produced from fat cells its supposed to shut off hunger. But many obese people train themselves to ignore leptin by stuffing thier face to "not waste food". This makes you even hungrier and hungrier like a cookie monster.

      One of the keys to fixing obesity is to retrain everyone from the past thinking about "not wasting food" and turning our bodies into human trash cans.

      When your full stop eating, simple as that.

      May 8, 2012 at 05:30 | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      @goldfish – Don't forget ghrelin. The reason people who have gastric bypass or sleeve surgery lose weight is because of the loss of ghrelin, the hunger hormone. People with excess ghrelin essentially never feel full. The trigger does not exist or is drowned out by the ghrelin. I have no proof by hypothesize that our dna has been permanently changed by the last 60 yrs of excess sugar in our diet and until we do something drastic to stop sugars in our kids foods and go back to a caveman type diet almost from birth that our dna will never heal and the only fix will be to (abhorrently) give every child a test for excess ghrelin and treat those with that corporately created illness gastric surgery to help them feel hunger like a person without damaged dna. Sounds crazy, right? So is giving our kids sugar starting as toddlers and getting them hooked. Carbs are like crack. Once we taste sugar as kids, we are hooked for life.
      The only way to fix this is to eat local, seasonal and hormone/pesticide free.
      I'm proud to say my daughters have embraced this thought process for their children and though I have been obese (until my sleeve surgery) and I have a daughter fighting her dna, my grandchildren are all healthy at at ages 7,6 and 4 have never tasted soda, koolaid, popsicles....etc. They have had some fruit but otherwise their diet is proteins and veggies... as it should be.

      May 8, 2012 at 06:15 | Report abuse |
    • Amlynn


      Learn to read! He said "a diet devoid of fiber." You went on this huge, condescending tangent made all the more hilarious because of the fact that you didn't read what he wrote correctly.

      Really, do us all a favor, and learn to read before you type. Hahahahaha!

      May 8, 2012 at 07:44 | Report abuse |
    • Eww that smell

      Obese people do give off different chemicals, ever have to sit next to one on a plane on a hot day. Okay so maybe it is not different chems but rather more because there is more of them to sweat and stink and then there are the parts that don't get washed because of folds or not enough reach. I know this is mean but we have to do something about this epidemic and if it bothers an obese person to hear that some thing they smell then good, one more reason besides just your health to loose weight.

      May 8, 2012 at 07:52 | Report abuse |
    • exactly WTH

      Fiber also causes Bloating and gas in some instances. I for one cannot eat beans anymore because I can't properly digest the fiber. So it is not as a cure all for all people as you indicated.

      May 8, 2012 at 10:33 | Report abuse |
    • brockgladstone

      Veritas, you are indeed a fool. Fiber is not required for a healthy diet... in fact fiber damages the gut, causes inflammation and leads to autoimmune conditions. I highly suggest you read "12 fiber myths" and "9 reasons to avoid grains" before spouting more nonsense. If fiber were a necessary part of your diet to prevent constipation, then explain how babies manage to be little poop machines despite getting ZERO fiber in their diet.

      May 8, 2012 at 23:42 | Report abuse |
  2. Duke

    more cushion for the pushin'

    May 8, 2012 at 02:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ser

      LOL...couldn't have said it better myself.

      May 8, 2012 at 12:17 | Report abuse |
  3. Common Sense

    I remember talking with some teenagers in a Bombay slum a few years ago, and one of them said something really interesting. He had been asking me and my friends if we lived in big houses in America and how many cars our families had owned when we were growing up. He then said "I would very much like to see America. In India, the rich and educated people are fat and the poor are thin. In America, it's the poor people who are fat and the rich and educated who are thin." I had never thought of it quite like that, but he knew from watching American television what statisticians have been telling us for years.

    May 8, 2012 at 02:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ambigam

      That's actually very common. In poor societies throughout history where food is scarce it is considered a sign of status to be overweight (look at the paintings from the Medieval ages) and poor people have very low calorie counts. In wealthy societies where food is plentiful, it is considered a sign of wealth to be fit because of the poor nutritional content of food poor people consume (they move from rice and beans to McDonald's and Taco Bell).

      May 8, 2012 at 06:03 | Report abuse |
    • mslisa

      I don't know where you live – but there are a plenty of fat educated people.

      May 8, 2012 at 06:14 | Report abuse |
    • ambigam

      mslisa – I'm speaking in generalities. The shift from weight being a sign of wealth in poor cultures to weight being a sign of poverty in wealthy cultures is is a well established fact. This difference is perhaps most noticeable in large cities.

      May 8, 2012 at 06:50 | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ambigam is correct.

      May 8, 2012 at 08:06 | Report abuse |
    • major difference

      In third world countries, food is scarce and folks go days without eating. Whereas folks who are poor in developed countries tend to stock up on low nutrition processed foods. Still the constant is poor nutrition.

      May 8, 2012 at 10:36 | Report abuse |
  4. Valentijn

    I'm still trying to figure out how to eat appropriately for a metabolic disease where very of what I eat gets turned into energy. If I cut calories, muscle gets broken down for fuel and fat doesn't budge. The only advice I've been able to get from a dietician is to eat normally, which means low protein and lots of grains I can't do anything with. No idea how many people are in the same boat, but it's extremely frustrating, especially when the so-called magic bullet of exercise just makes me extremely sick for several days.

    May 8, 2012 at 02:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Valentijn

      "very of what I eat" = "very little of what I eat"

      May 8, 2012 at 02:30 | Report abuse |
    • this works

      eat more Protein. since you need that for muscles, and burns off fast. avoid carbohydrates white sugar. bread products, noodles, rice, eat veggies, fruits, nuts

      May 8, 2012 at 02:41 | Report abuse |
    • A

      I'm so sorry that exercise makes you sick. That sounds just awful. I'd be very upset if I couldn't maintain my current activity level.

      May 8, 2012 at 11:16 | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      you need to increase your fats. contrary to what most people think, fats don't get you fat, carbs do. You just have a very fast metabolism. Start by increasing your consumption of good fats, which are found in peanut butter, eggs, nuts, and fish oil.

      May 8, 2012 at 17:05 | Report abuse |
  5. Yoga Girl

    "New Drugs and technologies could help"....please.... How about good common sense in healty eating and excercise/using the body in stead of so much technology. If hot yoga were a pill...everyone would do it. But it works, hard work...and very satisfying. Good for my metabolism, digestion, circulation, strengthening, overall body well being. I've never felt better, lost 10 pounds, increased energy, more mental alterness, calmness, eat less and crave healthier foods. The obesity gene is also linked to dimentia.

    May 8, 2012 at 02:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Yoga Girl

    And, we aren't what we eat...we are what we don't eliminate.

    May 8, 2012 at 02:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Yoga Girl

    How toxins are making us fat....my own experience....tried, tried, tried to lose that excess body weight and fluid around my middle....my first ionic therapy session changed my life. Removed the toxins, and my body didn't need to hold on to the fat and excess fluid. Next was detox...colon cleanses, eating to live/not living to eat... and then hot yoga. Just kept getting better and better. Clear mind, clear body. Then working on my house and surroundings...we are our environment. Ahhhh. At 47 I feel wonderful. Never ill, joint pains are gone, and people tell me I have the body of a 20 year old. And I feel like it.

    May 8, 2012 at 02:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • WhatNow

      Nonsense. You do not need colon cleanses. Your digestive system naturally removes bacteria and waste materials. Colon cleanses can do more harm than good, especially if you have kidney or heart disease.

      May 8, 2012 at 08:05 | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @Yoga Girl
      Sorry hun but you are just a hippy. Science has already shown granola medicine is no more effective than hitting yourself with a rock. Assuming this actually worked for you it was a placebo. Eating right and exercising is all one needs. Anyone who says different is ignorant, incompetent or lazy.

      May 8, 2012 at 08:13 | Report abuse |
    • major difference

      Depends, some foods do not digest the same for some people. I know I can't eat brocolli, beans and certain veggies as I used to because I will simply bloat up. I can see what you are saying.

      May 8, 2012 at 10:38 | Report abuse |
    • A

      If you eat enough fiber and drink enough water, your colon cleanses itself. The only "detox" one needs is to watch what they eat. No special colon cleanses or detoxes needed.

      I'm glad hot yoga worked for you, but you don't need to go on about it like it works for everyone. Yoga, hot or not, does not work for me. The breathing exercises and unnatural poses feel idiotic to me and don't leave me feeling spiritually fulfilled. You know what does? Kickboxing. I feel healthy, de-stressed, calm, and accomplished afterward. But I know that doesn't work for everybody. To each their own.

      May 8, 2012 at 11:21 | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      colon cleanses are a modern day scam for naive people. Sorry to say. You may lose some weight, thats only cause you going the bathroom more, but you aren't burning any fat.

      May 8, 2012 at 17:08 | Report abuse |
  8. Yoga Girl

    How toxins are making us fat


    May 8, 2012 at 02:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. dancing frog

    Well, this is no huge surprise here! As long as you have big pharm & big food industry/gmo's in the same bed, this is what's going to happen. People on the whole, don't know enu'f about nutrition, & don't bother to read labels, let alone take the time to educate themselves on what's good to put in your body & what isn't. Most people believe the b.s. commercials about foods, additives, etc. Prepared food has way too much sodium(salt), food enhancers, & hi fructose sweetners in it, all bad for the body! It's well known, the better/more nutritious food is more expensive, whereas the cheaper food as in snack food, hi carbos, hi frustose/over sugared cereals .. so those who live on fixed or small incomes buy the cheaper food, even tho' it's not the best food for them. It was just the opposite when I was growing up, way back when. And, have you noticed the number of food commercials on the tube nowadays, my gawd, every 2 minutes there's 6-10 commercials & most deal w/some sort of food product or food store, as in fast food. Lack of excercise, even walking for 30 minutes 3-4 times a wk will help keep weight off, as well as lower one's blood pressure. P.E. should be put back in the school systems, a few minutes on the play ground releases stress/tension, & opens the blood vessels, which in turn oxygenates the entire body, including the brain, making learning much easier for children. Maybe if children could run & play as they should, there would be far less ADD/ ADHD, & the like. It's sad, children of today cannot play outside w/o almost an armed guard w/them for fear some perv will take them away & hurt them. When I was growing up I was allowed to go all over .. walking .. to the store, to school & back, to church every Sunday, & anyplace else we wanted to go. We didn't own a car until my parents had been married 15 yrs. We lived in small town America, where everybody knew me, my parents & grandparents, so I could hardly get into any trouble, b/c by the time we got home,my parents knew all about whatever, so it didn't pay to get into any trouble. Better education is a must, as well as more excercise, especially in the school systems.

    May 8, 2012 at 03:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Webber

      Really annoying to blame big pharma and big food companies. Blame anyone but the person whose elbow is bending and stuffing the food in. It is not hard to stay relatively in shape and lean. It doesn't take an expensive gym membership to get the exercise. Buy some 15 pound hand weights and every commercial you watch do some curls, lunges or squats instead of snacking. You will be so happy about your muscle tone you will not eat junk.

      May 8, 2012 at 17:34 | Report abuse |
  10. nate

    Food is the only highlight of our day. Ever watch grazing cows come running when pellets are thrown from a truck? Us.

    May 8, 2012 at 04:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. claude

    give your kids a sandwich, football, baseball, bball, frisbee etc, instead of a big mac and fries

    May 8, 2012 at 05:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. ambigam

    I think the suburbanization of society, where so many depend on cars to do everything, has contributed to much of this obesity issue. Also industrialized processed food and more gluttonous food cultures like in the South. The rise in demand of walkability / transit and fresh, organic farmers market food among the most educated, affluent, and mobile in society is a good sign that perhaps it will eventually trickle down.

    May 8, 2012 at 06:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mslisa

      I from the south – but my family is not a fat family. Maybe you don't travel, but I've not been to a state that's without fat people. It does not matter if food is organic- healthy is healthy... I wouldn't ride a horse to work but my a.. is not fat either... You can eat healthy food all day and still be fat so the best thing would be close your mouth and stop working your elbows so much.

      May 8, 2012 at 06:20 | Report abuse |
    • ambigam

      mslisa – You seem very defensive about your life. I travel all the time and it is a statistical fact that obesity rates are highest in the South. Of course there are overweight people everywhere, but as a percentage of the population there are plenty of maps online where you can see that the West is healthiest, followed by the Northeast then the Midwest then the South.

      Perhaps you are not educated about the health benefits of fresh food and organic as a subcategory within that. It is scary when you learn what goes into our processed foods we buy in packages.

      May 8, 2012 at 06:55 | Report abuse |
    • jayleigh

      I am also from the south. Obesity rates are higher there for two reasons. One is that it has a higher percentage of minorities than most other states. Those minority groups also have higher rates of obesity within that subset of the overall population skewing the results of the southern states.

      The other is a rural problem IMO. Out in the country is where the really obese people and problem is it's highest. In those locations I think that the people don't get involved in the community as much and aren't as worried about doing something to change their looks to keep up with the crowds. So you have these fat people who just continue to eat and be fat and have no motivation to change. In the more affluent urban southern cities, you do not have as much of the obesity problem.

      But make no mistake, Obesity is correlated with lack of education and poverty. Something southern states have plenty.

      May 8, 2012 at 10:38 | Report abuse |
    • major difference

      The South is very rural and has limited access to grocery stores and public exercise than in the industrialized Northeast and the West coast. If you go into parts of Mississippi, the closest place to get food (walking distance) is mini-mart type of place. These places do not sell fresh produce or meats but mostly processed foods and beer.

      May 8, 2012 at 10:41 | Report abuse |
    • rftallent

      I am a baby boomer and have lived in the South all my life. Most of us were raised on fried foods, but we also had a lot of meals without meat, and we were more active. Grades 1-6 had recess and later we had P.E., and we walked or rode our bikes to school. After school we played outside until dark. Obese children were rare and they were usually teased at school. Gardens and farmers markets were popular, and nobody had a riding lawn mower. Now, statistically, Southern states have the highest obesity rates, but they also have the lowest wages. Maybe when fresh salmon is as cheap as frozen fish sticks things will change, but it will still come down to a matter of choice.

      May 8, 2012 at 11:35 | Report abuse |
    • Webber

      I think the reason you're getting some push back from people is yes we may have originated in the south, but when you attach the word gluttonous to that description, you are being a bit condescending to a group of people who quite naturally feel defensive. I grew up on a farm and in the 60s, long before farmers markets and organic foods became trendy, my mother raised all our food organically. It didn't take a PHD for her to know poison which kills bugs could not be good for you. We ate all fresh or home canned foods, fresh dairy and eggs, yes we did eat some fried foods, but none of us were fat in a family of 7. Just thought you may want to know you were being slightly insulting to those of us from the South who can read and spell. How about we say the fresh food we raised "trickled up" to the educated?

      May 8, 2012 at 17:55 | Report abuse |
  13. Laura

    The answer to the obesity problem in this country is to pay for the privilege. When you go to the doctor/hospital, if you aren't within a healthy BMI range or waistline you pay more. It's simple. An alternative answer would be if you weigh within healthy standards you pay less since you're making an effort to keep costs down for everyone (similar to car insurance price breaks for good driving habits). People who are overweight/obese cost tax payers more in health care expenses (ex. health insurance fees, trips to emergency) and pollution (ex. trash from used food products, etc.). They also unnecessarily take up more space on buses, trains and airplanes and add to the cost of energy to run the vehicles.

    May 8, 2012 at 06:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alyssa

      What if I'm not in the healthy BMI range but have no medical conditions. My sugars are normal, my blood pressure is not, my cholesterol is normal. I see the doctor once a year for my physical. Why should I pay more just to have her tell me that my results are normal?

      May 8, 2012 at 07:32 | Report abuse |
    • Alyssa

      *my blood pressure is normal.

      May 8, 2012 at 07:32 | Report abuse |
    • FiveLiters

      Our company is trying to do that now in regards to a discount with our health insurance,which I think is crazy. Between last year and this one,I lost 22 lbs,bulked up with the weights,actually wearing jeans from high school,and I'm over 40. but according to some 'chart...,I'm obese. Yeah,right. Another co-worker,runs marathons (did the Boston Marathon last two years in a row). Tall,beanpole type...the magic 'chart' said he needed to lose 5 lbs to just get under the 'obese' rating. They're too arbitrary in regards to the differences in makeup of people. I'm all for promoting good health,but there needs to be a re-examination of what truly makes someone unhealthy or 'medically obese',cause to me,the 'B' in 'BMI' stands for 'Bull-"!

      May 8, 2012 at 10:44 | Report abuse |
    • Beatdashric

      You would have a medical condition: overweight or obese. Can everyone please stop pretending you can be healthy and fat?

      May 8, 2012 at 14:22 | Report abuse |
    • Beatdashric


      BMI charts don't take into account muscle mass. Check your body fat ratio for more conclusive results.

      May 8, 2012 at 14:23 | Report abuse |
  14. unowhoitsme

    The FDA has allowed chemical and sugar ladened crap (called 'food') to be consumed by human beings, when this crap isn't food at all. It's known to cause cancer, diabetes, heart disease...which in turn supports our medical system. FDA has been bought out by $$$ and no longer has the American people's health as it's priority.

    May 8, 2012 at 07:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mister Jones

      So what? That's just a cop out. You are still responsible for what you do with your body, and other people seem to have figured out how to stay in shape. Regardless of what you put in your mouth, it is ultimately up to you how you keep if off your butt.

      May 8, 2012 at 11:20 | Report abuse |
  15. dakota2000

    this makes me so upset. I am reaching for a bowl of ben and jerry's right now...

    May 8, 2012 at 07:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Thin and proud of it

    Cheeseburger cheeseburger Pepsi ... Supersize me!!!

    May 8, 2012 at 07:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Ruben

    People just stick to low glycemic index foods. High glycemic index foods spike your insulin levels. Eventually your system is overwhelmed and shuts off the mechanisms to use fat as an energy source. Then your body starts to store the excess sugars (carbohydrates) as fat because your body lost the ability to function correctly. Low glycemic index foods regulate your insulin levels thus your body continues to use fat as an energy source. Of course calorie count is important, this is where portion control comes into play. Do this and combined with a little work out and you will lose weight. Guaranteed. What are low glycemic foods? google them.

    May 8, 2012 at 07:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Matt

    People are too weak to stick to a healthy lifestyle. People eat for entertainment not for living. You all can explain till your blue in the face about what is good and what is bad but most will never listen or care. At this point I dont think there is anything we can do about it. For the most part humans are weak creatures that will always look for the easy way out.
    Pathetic but true. I am not one of them though but I am in the minority.

    May 8, 2012 at 07:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • someone

      Come on....really? I will be the first to say I'm as weak as the next guy when it comes to food that tastes good. I'm just LUCKY that I don't weigh 300 pounds....lol. I said it in an earlier post...you can be skinny and unhealthy. So we shouldn't judge just based on obesity....

      May 8, 2012 at 18:16 | Report abuse |
  19. Bill

    Check out "The Blood Sugar Solution".

    May 8, 2012 at 07:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. moe sizlak

    only 42% ? i think we're at 42% now... america is FAT! you could spend years overseas and never find a fat person. why? we sit all day, drive everywhere, eat garbage and then watch tv. the rest of the world walks, or bikes, they eat food that isn't filled with chemicals and sugar, and actually work for a living...

    May 8, 2012 at 07:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • someone

      Not true....lived in Europe for 7 years and there are just as many fat people there. People love food that tastes good, that's the bottom line and until we no longer have the OPTION to eat unhealthy, we will continue to do so....myself included. I'm not 300 pounds but I might as well be....I'm unhealthy and I know it. People fail to see that you can be skinny and unhealthy as well. If it's not one battle, it's another.

      May 8, 2012 at 18:11 | Report abuse |
  21. Milky Pirate

    Absolute propaganda. I want to see more details behind this study before I believe a word of what is said here.

    May 8, 2012 at 07:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mister Jones

      Go to any theme park in America ...

      May 8, 2012 at 11:12 | Report abuse |
  22. dark1463

    its wall-e all over again LOL

    May 8, 2012 at 07:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • FiveLiters

      More like "wal-rus"!

      May 8, 2012 at 10:58 | Report abuse |
  23. brian

    The BMI should not be used as a statistical tool for weight. It is very misleading. I don't work out, i just work in the yard or on the house. At 6' tall and 215 pounds, I have a BMI of 29.2, basically obese by this standard, but I have a 33" waist and 15% body fat. We Americans as a society are too fat, but I think its skewed too far to the obese end by a more heavily muscled population than most of the rest of the world.

    May 8, 2012 at 08:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Milky Pirate

      Not too mention that BMI is the same for men as it is for women. As far as measurements go it is a joke.

      May 8, 2012 at 09:19 | Report abuse |
    • FiveLiters

      Said that a million times. At my heaviest (I'm 6' tall) I was 275 with a 42" waist. That was several years ago. Got tired of it and did something. now I'm 220 with a 36 waist ,bulked up with weights (not ripped though...would be nice!),and I'm considered obese. I'm happy that I can fit smaller clothes,that I can walk/run 3 miles a day and not be out of breath,and that all of my blood tests/pressure/etc. are totally normal. So I guess I'll just have to be obese by their standards. *shrug*

      May 8, 2012 at 11:02 | Report abuse |
  24. BigAl

    put down the burger ya' FFs and exercise!

    May 8, 2012 at 08:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Tahcere

    I believe that nowadays people don't really care about their appearance so that they eat what they're not necessarily supposed to on impulse. 42% that's kinda sad . . . .. . . this comment is coming from a 13 yr old . . . . . All I have to say is are you serious. Come On!

    May 8, 2012 at 09:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. jena

    Everyone knows what they have to do to lose weight. They just don't want to do it cause it takes work and self-control.

    May 8, 2012 at 09:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Adam

    Hell 42% of my office campus is obese...easily.

    May 8, 2012 at 11:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Guest

      I would put my office at 90% obese.

      May 8, 2012 at 11:46 | Report abuse |
  28. Daryl

    The government is so concerned about our health, yet they still allow for the use of things like high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners which have been show to be very bad for your health. The cheap food at the grocery stores that are loaded with artificial ingredients that are contributing to this problem.

    May 8, 2012 at 11:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Daryl

      I should have proofread better. *shown *artificial ingredients are contributing to this problem.

      May 8, 2012 at 11:30 | Report abuse |
    • someone

      I agree with you Daryl. Absolutely absurd that this is such an "issue" but they will do NOTHING about it....it's all about money no matter which side you take...it costs money to take care of obese people in the long run but do they really want you to be healthy? Really? The drug companies might have something to say about that....money. Always comes down to the almighty dollar. Nobody really CARES!! lol

      May 8, 2012 at 18:21 | Report abuse |
  29. Mister Jones

    Most of these comments seem to be reasons that people are this way. Blame the government, blame the FDA, blame lack of places to exercise, blame ... someone else. I am guessing most of those commenters are big, so just ask yourself, what do you think OUR excuse is? We all, basically, have access to the same types of foods, and the same walking or running trails or staircases. We seemed to figure out a way to stay fit despite this oppressive regime that ... Actually, I really didn't understand the government argument, so I won't use it. Bottom line is: we figured out how to stay in shape, and you can too.

    May 8, 2012 at 11:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • PeggyC

      You are forgetting genetics, Mister Jones. Everyone has a different genetic make up. Some people are lucky and don't gain weight no matter what they eat (though they may not be healthy. Thin people get T2 diabetes and heart disease, too!) Others can eat fewer calories of the wrong thing (sugars and starches) and become obese over time because they are less tolerant of carbs and easily convert carbs to fat. So don't assume that, just because someone is overweight or obese, it's just about eating too much and moving too little. And by the way, although BMI would probably peg me as overweight, I am not. But I have been in the past–when I was eating a low fat, high carb diet. Now I eat high fat low carb and maintain a healthy weight–My activity level has nothing to do with it, because it hasn't changed in a long time. It's about genetics, education, thinking for myself and realizing that the government's dietary advice is all wrong–and it is.

      May 8, 2012 at 21:43 | Report abuse |
  30. eroteme

    Never mind about 2030. Today if a young lady is slim she looks skinny, looks almost as strange as a young lady wearing a dress. Pleasantly plump is in, the new norm. And pleasantly plump is becoming plumper with each passing year.

    May 8, 2012 at 11:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Matt

    There is NO reason why children are growing up obese. That is not only bad parenting but child abuse. Come on parents, start telling Katlin and Tyler they can not have that 3rd donut!!

    May 8, 2012 at 11:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. eroteme

    Maybe the overweight, obese, would have legal right to sue the fast-food restaurants. If this is not possible, success would not really gain much for the overweights, it might be a lot easier to just declare, nationwide, that Fat is Beautiful.

    May 8, 2012 at 11:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Wendy

    The two biggest reasons for obesity in our country, people don't exercise, they just sit around. If they actually got up and did something, there would be less obesity. AND portion sizes for everything has increased greatly over the last 20yrs or so.

    A small is no longer a small, it's more like a large.

    If people actually ate the correct portion size, and got off their lazy butts, obesity wouldn't be a problem!

    May 8, 2012 at 12:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. rick

    there are many factors. diet and exercise being chief among them. i cannot believe that people do not know how to lose weight. i can believe that they do not have the gumption to do so

    May 8, 2012 at 13:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Phil

    Obesity is not a mystery nor is it genetic. Just take a look at what your fat friends eat and then look at what your thin friends eat. Night and day difference. Thin people eat whole foods and fruit and veggies and lots of fiber. Fat people eat processed foods, candy, pop etc with no fiber. Its really that simple.

    May 8, 2012 at 13:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • major difference

      Sure I see skinny folks eating cake and pizza just like obese folks, it's called metabolism.

      May 8, 2012 at 14:04 | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      MAJOR DIFFERENCE: Yes, skinny folks do eat cake and pizza. But not all the time. I'm thin but to keep off the weight, I deny my self all the time. In addition, I work out, run, garden, whatever at least 3-4 times a week.Seriously, if you think thin folks eat like fat people, your are in serious denial. I happen to eat a diet heavy in fruits and veggies and even with this diet, I can easily gain weight if I quit moving or start eating sweets. I was 10 lb heavier 2 years ago. Since then I gave up most sweets.

      May 8, 2012 at 14:18 | Report abuse |
    • major difference

      Phill you can be underweight or fit and be unhealthy. Unhealthy does not mean that someone is overweight. Folks keep making the same argument over and over again. Keep in mind the lowest amount of deaths in the BMI groupings are folks who are in the overweight category. This is according to CDC, in 2005. IN fact the highest deathrate are folks who are underweight. So being skinny is not good.

      May 8, 2012 at 16:07 | Report abuse |
  36. Bill

    What a depressing thought. Being depressed makes me want to get two double quarter pounder combos from McDonalds.

    May 8, 2012 at 13:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. rick

    We seem to have replaced exercise with televised sports

    May 8, 2012 at 14:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Phil

    We need to replace food with sex. That way you get exercise and an incentive to lose weight.

    May 8, 2012 at 15:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. MdmJasmine

    "But modern convenience has made an abundance of cheap and easy calories available, he added." ~ Okay, but what about lifestyle. Have we considered the never stopping over producing society we've created that doesn't leave any time for time-consuming nutrition and exercise? Just saying, it's not all laziness and lack of willpower for everyone...

    May 8, 2012 at 15:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Phil

      Well my wife and I work alot but we find plenty of time to cook and exercise AND still have time to spare. Cooking meals from scratch is only slightly more time consuming then meals from the microwave. And eating whole foods made in your own kitchen is key to keeping weight off. As far as exercise, I think you'll find that 20 minutes a day if sufficient AND you'll get that time back in less sleep needed (you'll sleep better and for less time).

      May 8, 2012 at 15:48 | Report abuse |
  40. major difference


    As the prevalence of obesity increases in the United States, concern over the association of body weight with excess mortality has also increased.

    To estimate deaths associated with underweight (body mass index [BMI] <18.5), overweight (BMI 25 to or =30) in the United States in 2000.

    We estimated relative risks of mortality associated with different levels of BMI (calculated as weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters) from the nationally representative National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) I (1971-1975) and NHANES II (1976-1980), with follow-up through 1992, and from NHANES III (1988-1994), with follow-up through 2000. These relative risks were applied to the distribution of BMI and other covariates from NHANES 1999-2002 to estimate attributable fractions and number of excess deaths, adjusted for confounding factors and for effect modification by age.

    Number of excess deaths in 2000 associated with given BMI levels.

    Relative to the normal weight category (BMI 18.5 to or =30) was associated with 111,909 excess deaths (95% confidence interval [CI], 53,754-170,064) and underweight with 33,746 excess deaths (95% CI, 15,726-51,766). Overweight was not associated with excess mortality (-86,094 deaths; 95% CI, -161,223 to -10,966). The relative risks of mortality associated with obesity were lower in NHANES II and NHANES III than in NHANES I.

    Underweight and obesity, particularly higher levels of obesity, were associated with increased mortality relative to the normal weight category

    May 8, 2012 at 16:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. major difference

    Underweight = higher amount of deaths, Obesity also considered bad, however overweight a BMI that is over 20 but less than 26 results in the lowest amounts of deaths.

    You don't want to be underweight.

    May 8, 2012 at 16:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Phil

    major difference: If deaths were the only criteria, maybe your right. What about aching backs and knees and general feeling crappy. Being over-weight can be miserable too.

    May 8, 2012 at 17:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Fifi

    The problem with studies like this is their reliance on BMI. It's a ridiculously inaccurate measurement. For anyone who is taller than average and very muscular (in other words, a healthy weight), you are likely to come up with a high BMI. Smaller, small-boned people who are completely out of shape and may have a high body fat content will still measure up as having healthy BMI numbers. The only real, truthful measurement of obesity vs. healthy weight is body fat percentage.

    Case in point - I am very tall, muscular, have a very low body fat percentage, yet I have a high BMI.

    May 8, 2012 at 18:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. raju iyer

    yes i agree with you who the hell will tell macdonald that what they give to our kids are not good , and the schools that give the food is full of stuff that is loaded with lots of calories and that makes our kids so oblise , so what to do , If the govt is so worried what to do the parents who bought this kids to this world need to be worried too , nothing can be done , so there should be some thing extra activites in school so that the children can be kept healthy and happy as this children are the ffuture of America.

    May 8, 2012 at 23:32 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.