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Video: 42 percent of adults could be obese by 2030, study says

  1. Transcript of: 42 percent of adults could be obese by 2030, study says

    BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: For everyone American who worries about their weight or the weight of their children, there is a stunning prediction tonight. Health experts warn that by the year 2030 , a staggering 42 percent of Americans will officially be obese, up from what it is now, 34 percent. And the cost of all of this is multiplying quickly. Our report tonight from NBC 's Anne Thompson .

    ANNE THOMPSON reporting: America is a nation that loves to eat. Despite what we all acknowledge as a growing problem, we are still tempted to indulge.

    THOMPSON: Our voracious appetite is such that now one third of Americans are obese.

    Source: Duke University/CDC

    THOMPSON: And today a new study projects that number will jump to 42 percent of adults by 2030 . And those 100 pounds overweight, classified as severely obese, will increase by 11 percent. A bigger nation means bigger medical problems and health care bills. But if we can hold the line, or more accurately our waist line, and not get any more obese, we could save $550 billion by 2030 . We get plenty of encouragement.

    THOMPSON: From NFL football heroes...

    Ms. MICHELLE OBAMA: Exercise and moving can be fun.

    THOMPSON: ...to the first lady. For kids, weight carries more than just stigma.

    Dr. ELIANA PERRIN (University of North Carolina): Older overweight children are more likely to have high blood pressure, to have higher cholesterol, and, you know, to be able to move less well and play less well.

    Unidentified Woman: Now take a big breath for me.

    THOMPSON: Saber Basruto lives with one of the consequences of childhood obesity, type two diabetes. She's lost weight, is on medication, and wants kids to learn from her.

    Ms. SABER BASRUTO: It's not about being skinny or looking great. It's about being fit. Just eat healthier.

    THOMPSON: But is weight gain just an energy equation, taking in more calories than you use? Or is it what we eat, refined sugars and grains that drive up insulin levels and can actually increase your appetite? One expert says it's not that simple.

    Dr. JANEY PRATT (Massachusetts General Hospital): We have a country that is perpetuating obesity because obese mothers are having children who are more likely to be obese as adults, and we have a toxic environment.

    THOMPSON: And Dr. Pratt says that toxic environment consists of portions that are too big and Americans who constantly eat. So what does a sedentary and overweight nation to do? Tomorrow we will get recommendations from the Institute of Medicine touted as comprehensive and evidence based, solutions that are likely to be as contentious at the many theories about the cause of

    our obesity problem. Brian: This is going to get interesting because previous attempts haven't worked. Anne Thompson , thanks, as



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