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Study: Half of America Will Be Obese by 2030

George Severson

Study: Half of America Will Be Obese by 2030

CREATED May. 7, 2012

PALM DESERT - A new report shows nearly half of American adults are projected to be obese by the year 2030. The growing problem has prompted many experts to look at ways of preventing obesity long before adulthood, focusing even on toddlers.

America's scales continue to tip in the wrong direction. The prevalence of obesity is now predicted to reach 42-percent of adults by the year 2030, that's slightly lower than earlier projections but still expected to add billions of dollars in health care costs.

Obesity experts say the best time for prevention is childhood. New research found many mothers of overweight toddlers misjudged their child's body size, often assuming the kids were actually at a healthy weight. And 20-percent of mothers of healthy, average-sized children wanted their kids to put on a few more pounds. This is a good time for pediatricians to step in with a growth chart and assure parents of healthy children they're on the right track.

Overweight children are likely to be overweight teens who are likely to be overweight adults. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius spoke at an obesity conference in Washington DC Monday. She and other experts agree the nation can't afford to expand its waistline any longer.

Other new obesity-related research focuses on teens and their television habits. Those who watched the most TV ate fewer fruit and vegetables each day, and consumed more candy and sodas.