A new forecast for the United States suggests that 42 percent adult Americans could be obese and 11 percent severely obese by the year 2030.
The estimates are part of two Institute of Medicine (IOM) reports issued Monday and Tuesday at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Weight of the Nation conference in Washington.
The scientists who conducted the research say a strategy requiring action across all levels of society is needed to reverse the problem of obesity.
IOM figures indicate that 34 percent of adults in the U.S. currently are obese, and six percent are severely obese. Severe obesity generally is defined as being about 45 kilograms overweight.
One IOM study concludes the source of America’s overweight epidemic is an environment that promotes obesity, rather than a lack of individual willpower.
The co-authors made a long list of recommendations, including focusing heavily on schools where children spend most of their days, cutting farm subsidies that prohibit U.S. farmers from planting fruits and vegetables, and taxing sugar-sweetened beverages such as carbonated soda.
The IOM report also urges that healthy food and drink choices be more widely available to allow Americans to make better choices, not only at restaurants, but while at school, shopping or at entertainment and sports venues.