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WASHINGTON — Researchers from the Duke University Medical Center on Monday released a public health study finding that even maintaining the current prevalence of obesity in the United States would realize savings of almost $550 billion over the next two decades.
However, the forecasting study found that 42% of the U.S. population could be obese by 2030, suggesting the U.S. healthcare system could be burdened with 32 million more obese people within two decades. The study also forecasted an increase in the number of individuals with severe obesity (a body mass index greater than 40), with rates rising to 11% by 2030.
The study, based on data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and state-level data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other organizations, was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine on May 7.