Friday, October 05 2012 @ 02:31 PM EDT
Contributed by: B' Spokes
Related Health Care Costs Could Climb by 21.3 Percent
Washington, D.C., September 18, 2012 - The number of obese adults, along with related disease rates and health care costs, is on course to increase dramatically in Maryland over the next 20 years, according to F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2012, a report released today by Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).
"This study shows us two futures for America's health," said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, RWJF president and CEO. "At every level of government, we must pursue policies that preserve health, prevent disease and reduce health care costs. Nothing less is acceptable."
The analysis, which was commissioned by TFAH and RWJF and conducted by the National Heart Forum, is based on a peer-reviewed model published last year in The Lancet. Findings include:
Projected Increases in Obesity Rates
If obesity rates continue on their current trajectories, by 2030, the obesity rate in Maryland could reach 58.8 percent. According to the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2011, 28.3 percent of adults in the state were obese.
Projected Increases in Disease Rates
Over the next 20 years, obesity could contribute to 741,358 new cases of type 2 diabetes, 1,540,592 new cases of coronary heart disease and stroke, 1,488,428 new cases of hypertension, 968,487 new cases of arthritis, and 222,932 new cases of obesity-related cancer in Maryland.
Projected Increase in Health Care Costs
By 2030, obesity-related health care costs in Maryland could climb by 21.3 percent, which could be the seventh highest increase in the country. Nationally, nine states could see increases of 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.
How Reducing Obesity Could Lower Disease Rates and Health Care Costs
If BMIs were lowered by 5 percent, Maryland could save 7.6 percent in health care costs, which would equate to savings of $ 13,836,000,000 by 2030.
The number of Maryland residents who could be spared from developing new cases of major obesity-related diseases includes:
* 158,413 people could be spared from type 2 diabetes,
* 129,330 from coronary heart disease and stroke,
* 126,707 from hypertension,
* 70,406 from arthritis, and
* 10,841 from obesity-related cancer.
"We know a lot more about how to prevent obesity than we did 10 years ago," said Jeff Levi, PhD, executive director of TFAH. "This report also 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."
On the basis of the data collected and a comprehensive analysis, TFAH and RWJF recommend making investments in obesity prevention in a way that matches the severity of the health and financial toll the epidemic takes on the nation. The report includes a series of policy recommendations, including:
* Fully implement the National Prevention Strategy and Action Plan;