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Scary New Obesity Statistics for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is, of course, a holiday that revolves around the meal, and many Americans feel like it’s their duty to take seconds, thirds, or fourths at Thanksgiving dinner, since it’s a special occasion. But a new report shows that this kind of eating behavior isn’t just a holiday indulgence. If obesity rates continue at their current upward trend, in 10 years some 43 percent of American adults will be obese, or at least 30 pounds over a healthy weight, according to a new study from the American Public Heath Association. And with that weight gain comes financial loss: Obesity-related illnesses will cost the U.S. about $344 billion in medical-related expenses by 2018, which is about 21 percent of health-care spending. “Obesity is going to be a leading driver in rising health-care costs,” says Kenneth Thorpe, chairman of the department of health policy and management at Emory University in Atlanta. Reed Tuckson of the United Health Foundation, sponsor of the report with the APHA, agrees: “There is a tsunami of chronic preventable disease about to be unleashed into our medical-care system which is increasingly unaffordable.”

November 24, 2009 6:00 PM