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U.S. obesity will reach new heights by 2020

Posted by Christine L. Tricoli

The U.S. already leads the world in adult and childhood obesity. Unless current trends change, the situation could get even worse.

Some researchers predict that by 2020, more than 50 percent of the country will be classified as obese, meaning that they will have a body mass index (BMI) of more than 30. Given the numerous health problems that are associated with excess weight, this is expected to significantly increase healthcare costs. In 2013, Americans spent between $2.7 and $2.9 trillion on health care delivery, which doesn't include insurance or pharmaceuticals. By 2020, this number is expected to reach $5.2 trillion.

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Experts believe growing obesity is partially the result of physical inactivity. In fact, people who sit for six or more hours have a 40 percent greater risk for obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Employers will be stuck with a significant portion of the bill if obesity rates keep getting worse. Luckily, they are also in a position to help. A strong workplace wellness program can get employees moving and help them meet their fitness and health goals.

Posted by Christine L. Tricoli

Christine Tricoli is manager of Business Development for Kelsey-Seybold Clinic. She joined Kelsey-Seybold in 2004. She is responsible for developing new business relationships with key business leaders, plan sponsors and the brokerage community. Prior to joining Kelsey-Seybold, Christine was a senior sales account executive for a major health insurance company in the Houston market. She brings more than 30 years of experience in managed healthcare in Houston. Christine holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and a Group 1 Insurance License. She is fluent in Spanish.

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Topics: obesity, workplace wellness

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