Why Are We Doing This To Ourselves?

One in every three Americans today is obese, and a study published in the Journal of Health Economics in January estimates that $190.2 billion a year is spent on obesity-related healthcare costs alone. Worse yet, experts predict the obesity rate will rise. Nearly half of the American population—42 percent, to be exact—will be obese by 2030.

That is the dire forecast of a study published in May in theAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine. But, researchers say, should the obesity rate remain steady and not continue on its upward trajectory, it could save the country almost $550 billion in healthcare costs in the next two decades. Prevent another 32 million Americans from becoming obese and far fewer of them will get sick.