New York obesity rate expected to hit 51% by 2030: Study
By 2030, more New Yorkers will be supersized, according to a new study.
The report released Tuesday by a nonprofit health group predicts that the obesity rate in the Empire State will increase 14.8% during the next 18 years, making 50.9% in the state grossly overweight.
Despite the dire fat forecast, the experts who worked on the study by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation said that New York City has the best shot at proving them wrong with the soda ban and other obesity-reduction programs.
"New York City has the pieces in place, so I think it's all about the implementation," said Trust for America's Health executive director Jeffrey Levi.
Currently the state is ranked 41 among most obese states and its ranking would go up to 39 in 2030, according to the study.
The city's Department of Health, meanwhile, said 58% of Big Apple residents are overweight or obese.
"These projections are reflective of the serious obesity crisis our nation is already grappling with," the Health Department said of the study.
The report was created by a computer model that looked at past trends in obesity projected forward, according to Levi.
He said his group has not officially endorsed Mayor Michael Bloomberg's soda ban initiative that was approved last week and set to go in effect in March, but acknowledged that sugary drinks are a huge factor for obesity, especially among children.
Levi did commend the city's other programs such as increasing healthier food options in public schools and increase of health conscious advertising. The director said it goes a long way cost wise.
"If New York can reduce its average BMI by 5%, New Yorkers can save over $40 billion over the next 20 years in health care costs," he said.
The Health Department aims to reduce the city's obesity rate by 38.7% in the next four years by implementing the soda ban and programs that stress healthy eating and exercise.
"It is our hope that others will take similarly bold steps to combat this major epidemic," the Health Department said.
Overall, the city's makeup of obese and overweight residents is greater than the state's average obesity rate, however it varies from borough to borough, according to the Health Department.
68.9% in Staten Island
67% in the Bronx
60.1% in Brooklyn
55.1% in Queens
47.1% in Manhattan