walk-more-250x155The number of obese people in the United States will increase from 99 million in 2008 to 164 million by 2030, and the number of obese people in the United Kingdom will increase from 15 million to 26 million, a new study predicts.

Obesity-related diseases and health care costs will soar as a result, according to the report published Aug. 26 inThe Lancet.

Already, the U.S. and U.K. obesity rates are the highest among the 34 member nations of the Organization forEconomic Development and Cooperation (OECD), the study said.

The U.S. obesity rate will rise from 32% to about 50% for men, and from 35% to between 45% and 52% for women. The U.K. obesity rate will rise from 26% to between 41% and 48% for men, and from 26% to between 35% and 43% for women.

The report, based on analyses of U.S. data from 1988 to 2008 and U.K. data from 1993 to 2008, is the second article in the journal’s obesity series.

In the United States, the cost of treating obesity-related diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke, would increase $66 billion per year by 2030, and represent a 2.6% increase in overall health spending.

Spending on obesity problems alone will increase 13% to 16% per year if U.S. trends continue. About 4% of that increase is attributable to an aging population, the study said.

In the U.K., the increase would be $3.2 billion, with overall health care spending rising 2%. Spending specifically on obesity disorders will jump 25% per year over the next 20 years, with 10% of that increase due to population aging, the researchers said.

In the United States, the increasing rates of obesity would mean 7.8 million extra cases of diabetes, 6.8 million extra cases of coronary heart disease and stroke, and 539,000 extra cancer cases by 2030. The U.K. would see 668,000 extra cases of diabetes, 461,000 extra cases of coronary heart disease and 130,000 extra cases of cancer.

Losing just a little weight could offset those increases. The report noted that a 1% population-wide decrease in body-mass index (just 1.9 pounds for an average 198-pound adult) would prevent more than 2 million cases of diabetes, roughly 1.5 million cases of heart disease and stroke, and 73,000 to 127,000 cancer cases in the United States.

That same amount of weight loss in the U.K. would cut between 179,000 and 202,000 diabetes cases, 120,000 cases of heart disease and stroke, and 32,000 cancer cases.

Obesity prevalence varied by gender and ethnicity, the study said. In the United States, about one-quarter of all men were obese in 2008 regardless of their race, while 46% of black women, one-third of Hispanic women and 30% of white women were obese. In the U.K., 19% of white men, 17% of black men and 11% of Asian men are obese, along with one-third of black women, 20% of white women and 16% of Asian women.

Read full article here: Source – USA Today