FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – Connecticut's obesity rate could nearly double to 46.5 percent by the year 2030, according to a study released Tuesday. It would be the 47th most obese state in the country.
Every state in the country will have obesity rates above 44 percent in 2030, according to "F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2012," an annual report released by Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Mississippi could have the highest rate, at 66.7 percent, and Colorado would have the lowest at 44.8 percent.
Connecticut's obesity rate was 24.5 percent in 2011, according to the latest data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. It was tied with New York and Nevada for 42nd most obese state in the country.
If obesity rates continue along their current trajectories, Connecticut's obesity-related health care costs could increase by 15.7 percent over the next 20 years, according to the report. This would be the 22nd highest increase in the country. The state could see 412,641 new cases of type 2 diabetes, 1,014,057 new cases of coronary heart disease and stroke, 941,046 new cases of hypertension, 597,155 new cases of arthritis and 147,883 new cases of obesity-related cancer.
Connecticut could save $7,370,000,000 by 2030 if it reduces the average body mass index of its residents by 5 percent. For a 6-foot-tall person weighing 200 pounds, a 5 percent reduction would be the equivalent of losing roughly 10 pounds, according to the report. This reduction could spare 83,932 people from type 2 diabetes, 79,528 from coronary heart disease and stroke, 75,911 from hypertension, 38,564 from arthritis and 6,374 from obesity-related cancer.
"We know a lot more about how to prevent obesity than we did 10 years ago," Jeff Levi, executive director of TFAH, said in a statement. "This report also outlines how policies like increasing physical activity time in schools and making fresh fruits and vegetables more affordable can help make healthier choices easier. Small changes can add up to a big difference. Policy changes can help make healthier choices easier for Americans in their daily lives."