Study: Half of all New York adults will tip scales by 2030
The adult obesity rate in New York State could reach more than 50 percent by 2030, according to a new study released Tuesday. Shazia Khan filed the following report.
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More than half of all adults in New York State will be obese by 2030, if obesity trends continue as they are now.
"Half of all adults. Right now a quarter are obese, which is a pretty astonishing figure," said Mary Ann Chiasson, Vice President of Research and Evaluation for Public Health Solutions.
The "F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future" report, released Tuesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation together with the not-for-profit Trust for America's Health, gives a state by state projection of the national obesity crisis. A person is considered obese if he or she has a body mass index, or BMI, of 30 or higher. A normal BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9.
Over the next 18 years, New York's obesity crisis could reach 50.9 percent. The research shows the projected obesity rate could contribute to more than five million new cases of coronary heart disease and stroke, more than two million new cases of type two diabetes and more than three million new cases of arthritis. It also finds health care costs could go up nearly 15 percent.
"Chronic diseases are expensive not only in terms of healthcare but personally. If you can't walk from here to the door because you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or your diabetes is so bad or you if you've had an amputation the quality of life is low," Chiasson said.
But the study does goes onto say hundreds of thousands of obesity related cases could be prevented and more than $40 billion in health care costs could be saved in the state alone, if New Yorkers reduce their BMI by just five percent by 2030.
The report says this could be done through changes in policy like making fresh fruits and vegetables more affordable and by changing personal lifestyle habits like increasing physical activity.
"I think that biting these problems off in sizes that can actually be dealt with, that are easy to understand, makes a huge difference," Chiasson said.
Of course, experts say it's best to continue to set and meet goals to reach your optimum health.