Obesity is poised to become an increasingly prevalent public health problem in the United States, with a new study forecasting that half of Americans will be obese within ten years.
The New England Journal of Medicine examined medical data of more than 57,000 Americans to assess the future prevalence of obesity, coming back with concerning conclusions. Sightly more than 50% of Americans will fit the medical definition of obese by 2029.
More than a quarter of Americans will be “severely obese,” or packing more than 100 pounds of excess weight.
The epidemic of obesity stands to create a serious drain on American public health systems and will damage life expectancy, which has already declined for three straight years in the United States.
The southern and midwestern regions of the country are the hardest hit. In all 50 states, more than 35% of the population will qualify as obese.
Obesity was relatively rare in the country fifty years ago. But the introduction of unhealthy processed food and increasingly poor diets have contributed to make the United States the fattest country in the world.
High obesity rates also pose national security challenges, disqualifying many Americans from military service.
But the study’s conclusions aren’t set in stone. Americans can combat obesity by eating healthier, exercising more, and avoiding unnecessary calories.
The American people also need to ask themselves serious questions about the culture of a nation which fails to prevent a obesity epidemic that is unprecedented in the history of the United States.
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