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Current and Future Prevalence of Obesity and Severe Obesity in the United States

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  • Ruhm Christopher J

    ()
    (University of North Carolina, Greensboro)

Abstract

This study examines past patterns and projects future prevalence rates of obesity and severe obesity among US adults. Trends in body mass index (BMI), overweight (BMI?25), obesity (BMI?30), class 2 obesity (BMI?35), class 3 obesity (BMI?40) and class 4 obesity (BMI?45) of 20-74 year olds are obtained using data from the first National Health Examination Survey and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. Quantile regression methods are then used to forecast future prevalence rates through 2020. By that year, 77.6% of men are predicted to be overweight and 40.2% obese, with class 2, 3 and 4 obesity prevalence rates projected at 16.4%, 6.3% and 3.1%. The corresponding forecasts for women are 71.1%, 43.3%, 25.3%, 12.8% and 5.6%. The large growth predicted for severe obesity represents a major public health challenge, given the accompanying high medical expenditures and elevated risk of mortality and morbidity. Combating severe obesity is likely to require strategies targeting the particularly large weight gains of the heaviest individuals.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Forum for Health Economics & Policy.

Volume (Year): 10 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (September)
Pages: 1-28

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:fhecpo:v:10:y:2007:i:2:n:6

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Cited by:
  1. Michael Lechner, 2008. "Long-run labour market effects of individual sports activities," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2008 2008-13, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  2. Giorgio Brunello & Pierre-Carl Michaud & Anna Sanz de Galdeano, 2008. "The Rise in Obesity Across the Atlantic: An Economic Perspective," Working Papers 2008-21, FEDEA.
  3. Charles L. Baum II & Christopher J. Ruhm, 2007. "Age, Socioeconomic Status and Obesity Growth," NBER Working Papers 13289, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Alston, Julian M. & Sumner, Daniel A. & Vosti, Stephen A., 2008. "Farm subsidies and obesity in the United States: National evidence and international comparisons," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 470-479, December.
  5. Costa-Font, J & Fabbri, D & Gil, J, 2008. "Decomposing Bodymass Index gaps between Mediterranean countries: A Counterfactual Quantile Regression Analysis," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 08/02, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  6. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2010. "Understanding Overeating and Obesity," NBER Working Papers 16149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Etile, Fabrice, 2014. "Education policies and health inequalities: Evidence from changes in the distribution of Body Mass Index in France, 1981–2003," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 46-65.
  8. Samuel Preston & Andrew Stokes & Neil Mehta & Bochen Cao, 2014. "Projecting the Effect of Changes in Smoking and Obesity on Future Life Expectancy in the United States," Demography, Springer, vol. 51(1), pages 27-49, February.
  9. Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2010. "Work Out or Out of Work: The Labor Market Return to Physical Fitness and Leisure Sport Activities," IZA Discussion Papers 4684, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Pierre-Carl Michaud & Dana Goldman & Darius Lakdawalla & Yuhui Zhen & Adam H. Gailey, 2011. "The Value of Medican and Pharmaceutical Interventions for Reducing Obesity," Cahiers de recherche 1109, CIRPEE.
  11. Joan Costa-Font & Daniele Fabbri & Joan Gil, 2008. "Decomposing Cross-Country Gaps in Obesity and Overweight: Does the Social Environment Matter?," Working Papers in Economics 205, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
  12. Kolosnitsyna, Marina & Berdnikova, Arina, 2009. "Overweight: What Are its Costs and What Could Be Done?," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 15(3), pages 72-93.
  13. Samuel H. Preston & Andrew Stokes & Neil K. Mehta & Bochen Cao, 2012. "Projecting the Effect of Changes in Smoking and Obesity on Future Life Expectancy in the United States," NBER Working Papers 18407, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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