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NJ Adults Getting Fatter, Obesity Rates On The Rise

America’s belts are bulging. More New Jersey adults will be obese by 2030.

Mario Tama, Getty Images

According to a report by Trust For America’s Health, if obesity rates continue on their current trajectories, by 2030, 13 states could have adult obesity rates above 60 percent, 39 states could have rates above 50 percent, and all 50 states could have rates above 44 percent.

Over the next 20 years, nine states also could see their obesity-related health care costs climb by more than 20 percent, with New Jersey on course to see the biggest increase at 34.5 percent. Sixteen states and Washington, D.C., could see increases between 15 percent and 20 percent.

“The state has had good news and bad news, while they have been on the lower-end of the obesity epidemic in recent years, the population is aging and more people are on track to be obese in the next twenty years or so” said Lang.

Obesity could contribute to more than 6 million cases of type 2 diabetes, 5 million cases of coronary heart disease and stroke, and more than 400,000 cases of cancer in the next two decades, the report showed.

“All of these health-related issues are going to skyrocket in New Jersey” said Lang. “The state has had good news and bad news, while they have been on the lower-end of the obesity epidemic in recent years, the population is aging and more people are on track to be obese in the next twenty years or so.”

By 2030, medical costs associated with treating preventable obesity-related diseases are estimated to increase by $48 billion to $66 billion per year in the United States, and the loss in economic productivity could be between $390 billion and $580 billion annually by 2030. Although the medical cost of adult obesity in the United States is difficult to calculate, current estimates range from $147 billion to nearly $210 billion per year.

“Healthcare related costs for people suffering from obesity and other diseases is going to get really expensive for New Jersey” said Erika Lane, a registered pediatric dietician at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.

The report recommends that every adult in the nation reduce their body mass index by 5 percent by 2030.

“And nearly every state could save between 6.5 percent and 7.9 percent in health care costs. We know a lot more about how to prevent obesity than we did 10 years ago,” said Jeff Levi, executive director of TFAH.

“This report outlines how policies like increasing physical activity time in schools and making fresh fruits and vegetables more affordable can help make healthier choices easier. Small changes can add up to a big difference. Policy changes can help make healthier choices easier for Americans in their daily lives.”

“We need to start earlier and get children to eat healthy and exercise from a young age” said Lane.

 

 

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