No doubt you have noticed the expanding girths of U.S. yoots. What are the health implications? Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests a disturbing answer.
Heavy youths tend to stay heavy as they age. Researchers looked at the incidence of overweight adolescents in the year 2000 and then estimated the prevalence of obesity in the year 2020. Thirty to 44% of 35-year-olds in 2020 are expected to be obese.
Using computer simulation, investigators estimated that by 2035 the prevalence of coronary heart disease will increase by 5 to 16% because of the increased obesity. In other words, the increasing obesity in these young and middle-aged adults will result in over 100,000 excess cases of coronary heart disease.
That is, if current trends continue. But I see nothing on the horizon likely to alter that societal trend in the near future. I’m doing my part. How about you?
Steve Parker, M.D.
References: Bibbins-Domingo, K, et al. Adolescent Overweight and Future Adult Coronary Heart Disease. New England Journal of Medicine, 357 (2007): 2,371-2,379.