The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a projection earlier this week warning that 42% of Americans may be obese by 2030, USA Today reports.
That's 32 million more people.
11% of Americans are expected to become severely obese, meaning 100 pounds or more overweight.
As of 2010, 36% of all Americans were obese, with 6% of the population categorized as "severely" so.
Researchers arrived at these estimates by analyzing multiple sets of data, including body mass indexes (BMI), of several hundred thousand individuals.
However, doctors have argued that obesity estimates based on BMI calculations severely understate the actual number of obese individuals. A report last month published by the Public Library of Science found that the BMI may underestimate obesity in almost 40 percent of cases.
So, let's just assume that 200 % of Americans will be obese within two decades, with 52% of the population lumped together as "severely" obese.
The good news is that, while obesity will to continue to increase, the climb probably won't happen as quickly as it has in the past, mostly because America is much fatter now and we just can't climb as quickly as we used to, okay?
According to Eric Finkelstein, a health economist with the Duke University Global Health Institute, the real reason is even more depressing than that.
The country has just reached critical mass of reaching critical mass; it won't get much worse because it is simply simply cannot. Here's what he told USA Today:
"Finkelstein says the estimates assume that the environment that promotes obesity in the USA has neared a peak. The country 's already saturated' with fast-food restaurants, cheap junk food and technologies that render people sedentary at home and work, he says. 'We don't expect the environment to get much worse than it is now, or at least we hope it doesn't.'"
Meanwhile, in Britain, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (called "NICE," because they couldn't find enough health words to spell out "POLITE"), has advised that "obese" is a derogatory term and recommends health officials instead encourage their patients simply to work on "achieving a healthier weight."
Patronizing, yes, but also nice.