The implications of aging and diversification of population on overweight and obesity and the economic burden associated with overweight and obesity in the US from 2000 to 2050

Nazrul Hoque, University of Texas at San Antonio

Overweight and obesity a major health concerns in contemporary America. The percentage of the population that is considered overweight and obese has increased substantially over the past years for both adults and children. Approximately133.6 million American adults, or 66.0% of all adults are either overweight or obese. Obesity rates have more than doubled since 1990, increasing from 11.6% in 1990 to 26.3% in 2007. This increase is of substantial concern because of the health risks associated with overweight and obesity. Overweight and obesity are related to increased risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and a number of other diseases. Approximately, 300,000 to 400,000 deaths each year in the U.S. are attributable to overweight and obesity. In addition to observing differences in obesity for males and females, higher body mass indices tend to be more prevalent among minority population members due to an association between low socioeconomic status and obesity and a variety of other factors such as historical and cultural aspects. For example, in 2001 23.7% of Hispanic and 31.3% of Blacks were either overweight or obese compared to 19.6% of Anglo. In the U.S., the proportion of Anglo population decreased from 69.2% to 63.8% while the Hispanic population increased from 12.5% to 16.3% from 2000 to 2010. The U.S. population is projected to become a majority minority by 2042 with approximately 30% Hispanics and about 12% Blacks by midcentury. This paper examines the implications of future demographic changes on overweight and obesity and costs associated with overweight and obesity in the U.S. Decomposition techniques are used to examine the relative impacts of population growth, aging and changes in the racial/ethnic composition of the population on increases in the prevalence and related costs of overweight and obesity in U.S., an important input for the formulation of nationwide health policies.

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Presented in Session 23: Obesity and health/mortality