Obesity rates predicted to increase in U.S. and elsewhere

September 5, 2013

A new study of obesity rates in the U.S. and eight other countries predicts that rates will continue to grow over the next decade.

If you think too many of your patients are overweight now, just wait.

A new report on international trends in obesity from the research and consulting firm GlobalData predicts that 81 million Americans will be overweight, and 113 million will be obese by the year 2022.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just over 78 million American adults-about one-third of the adult population-were classified as obese in 2009-2010.

The prediction of steadily rising numbers of obese Americans comes in spite of recent studies indicating a slight leveling off in the obesity rate in recent years.

The GlobalData report predicts that Brazil will rank second in overweight population, with 64 million Brazilians classified as overweight and 26 million as obese by 2022. Other nations studied include Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, and the UK. The total number of people classified as overweight in the nine countries is expected to be 272 million, compared with 250 million in 2012, the report says.

The increase in obesity is due to “both an increased adoption of a westernized lifestyle and a high prevalence of obesity risk factors,” according to Alison Carpenter, MPH, a GlobalData analyst. “Unfortunately, it will be difficult for public health organization and policymakers to aim effective control measures at these populations to contain this growing epidemic.”