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.
The number of obese Americans has reached epidemic proportions. And, a new projection shows that 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, and nearly one in four will be severely obese. Obesity contributes to many serious medical conditions, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, Type 2 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.” said Dr. Priscilla Hollander of 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.
Total purchases declined by 38%, 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. There’s also some good news.
“Surprisingly, you get the greatest bang for your buck at a 5% weight loss.” said Dr. Samuel Klein, Gastroenterologist at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis.