Group: More than half in 39 states will be obese

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Whichever estimates you trust most, it’s clear that the nation’s weight problem is going to continue, escalating the number of cases of diabetes, heart disease and stroke, said Jeff Levi, executive director of Trust for America’s Health.

By 2030, medical costs from treating obesity-related diseases are likely to increase by $48 billion, to $66 billion per year, his report said.

The focus of so much of the ongoing debate about health care is over controlling costs, Levi said. “… We can only achieve it by addressing obesity. Otherwise, we’re just tinkering around the margins.”

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Listed are 2011 obesity levels followed by the Trust for America’s Health projections for 2030. States are listed in order from the highest to lowest projections in 2030:

Mississippi, 35 percent, 67 percent

Oklahoma, 31 percent, 66 percent

Delaware, 29 percent, 65 percent

Tennessee, 29 percent, 63 percent

South Carolina, 31 percent, 63 percent

Alabama, 32 percent, 63 percent

Kansas, 30 percent, 62 percent

Louisiana, 33 percent, 62 percent

Missouri, 30 percent, 62 percent

Arkansas, 31 percent, 61 percent

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