A new study by the Trust for America’s Health uses current trends to predict future obesity rates, and if they hold true Indiana’s rate could hit 56 percent in less than 20 years.
The state’s current obesity rate is around 30 percent. Indiana remains at one of the highest levels in the country and that would continue under the study.
At the gym at IUPUI, members range from health nuts to people trying to get healthy, like Bill Stevens.
“I come at least twice a week and I’d like to get it up to at least three or four times a week,” Stevens said.
The study predicted a 13 percent rise in healthcare costs related to obesity by 2030. If levels continue to rise, many more people would develop diseases linked to obesity.
Still, the study does suggest ways to keep the predictions from coming true. If everyone dropped their body mass index, or BMI, by 5 percent writers said healthcare cost increases would be half the projections, as well as a much lower increase in diseases.
Simple changes, not just a trip to the gym, can help too. Experts suggest everything in moderation, plus eating healthier.
For Stevens, the small changes are helping. He’s lost 38 pounds this year and has made goals with his doctor to do more.
“(My BMI) has gone down, not the five percent, but it's gone down,” Stevens said.