U.S. Obesity Rate May Go Up To 42% by 2050

Published:November 20th, 2010

Although previous reports have shown that the rate of obesity among American adults will slow down, a new report released by Harvard University and MIT suggested the contrary to be true. In the model employed by researchers at the two universities, obesity is considered an infectious disease and the predictions showed that the adult obesity rate will continue to rise for the next 40 years before leveling out after 2050. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported a rate of 34% for adult obesity, with an additional 34% of overweight Americans.

The new study was published in the journal PLoS Computational Biology and is a best case scenario, which means that the obesity rate might be even higher than 42%.

Obesity means having a body mass index of 30 or even higher. The model used in the study examined the spread of obesity via social networks, which included family, co-workers, friends and neighbours. However, non-social transmission of obesity was associated with easy access to unhealthy foods. Such non-social transmission factors are very important in the spread of obesity, but social transmission seems to have become more important in the past decades.

It is not yet fully understood why socializing with obese people can increase the risk of becoming obese. Scientists have speculated that as people become more and more connected via emails, Internet and social networking, the social transmission factor has come to play a larger role.

The study suggests that a social network that support weight loss goals is becoming more and more important as support for people who are interested in losing weight. This is why the Weight Loss Patches site is trying to offer updated information on weight loss related issues, in order to help our readers that are trying to find better ways to manage their weight.

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