Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.
The soaring obesity rates of the 1980s and '90s may have come to an end, but it looks like American waistlines won't be shrinking much anytime soon.
New research from Duke University projects that the percentage of Americans who are severely obese—around 100 pounds or more overweight—will roughly double to 11 percent of the population by 2030, the Associated Press reports.
The researchers, who presented their findings Monday at the CDC's "Weight of the Nation” event, also project a 33 percent increase in the prevalence of overall obesity (defined as roughly 30 pounds or more overweight, according to USA Today) over the same time period. While previous research had suggested that about half of Americans would be obese by 2030, the new research projects that figure at a lower, but still worrisome, 42 percent.
The findings might be illustrating a long-term result of childhood obesity: One researcher told the AP that about half of obese adults had been obese as children and that they tend to continue to gain weight as they get older.