LAS VEGAS -- Nearly half of all Nevada adults could reach obesity less than 20 years from now unless they adopt healthier diets and do more exercise, a report released Tuesday predicted.
Nevada's adult obesity rate, which was tied for seventh lowest in the nation last year at only 24.5 percent, could reach 49.6 percent by 2030, according to the report from Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The report, "F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2012," suggests that Nevadans could save more than $5.9 billion in health care costs by 2030 if they lowered their body mass index by an average of 5 percent. Adults are considered obese if they have a body mass index of at least 30.
The report didn't single out Nevada, though, as it predicted obesity rates would climb sharply in all 50 states.
"This study shows us two futures for America's health," said Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, Robert Wood Johnson's president and CEO. "At every level of government, we must pursue policies that preserve health, prevent disease and reduce health care costs. Nothing less is acceptable."
If Nevadans do not change by 2030, they could see their obesity-related health care costs increase by 18.2 percent, the report stated. But if Nevada adults lowered their body mass index by 5 percent by 2030, the report predicted that this would spare 65,087 people from developing type 2 diabetes, 55,556 from coronary heart disease and stroke, 53,677 from hypertension, 30,746 from arthritis and 4,521 from obesity-related cancer.
The report recommends that schools promote healthy nutrition, including updated standards for snack foods and beverages, and make physical education a priority. The recommendations also call for increased investment in obesity prevention programs, full use of preventive health care services, and support for healthy nutrition in federal food programs.
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