The cost of treating preventable obesity-related diseases could increase by $48 billion to $66 billion a year if state obesity rates continue on their current track through 2030, according to a report released Sept. 18 by Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. If states could reduce the average Body Mass Index of residents by just 5% by 2030, the report estimates every state could help thousands or millions of people avoid obesity-related diseases while saving billions of dollars in health care costs.
For a six-foot-tall person weighing 200 pounds, a 5% reduction in BMI would mean losing about 10 pounds. “This study shows us two futures for America’s health,” said RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D. “At every level of government, we must pursue policies that preserve health, prevent disease and reduce health care costs.”