Thirty-five percent of adult Americans are currently termed obese and medical experts have forecast this figure will rise to a staggering 50 percent by the year 2030.
Since becoming First Lady, Michelle Obama has made fighting the fat one of her causes.
Yesterday she hosted a “ Kids Dinner” at the White House promoting healthy eating among children in which her husband made an unscheduled appearance.
Medical costs for treating obesity-related diseases are expected to rise by $48 billion (37 billion euros) to $66 billion (51 billion euros) per year if the obesity rate continues at the current pace.
Nutritionists and medical experts such as Dr. Andrea Hulse-Johnson from Montgomery Family Medicine Associates say the way forward is to educate children and stop them adopting the bad eating habits of their parents.
“The risks of childhood obesity, if we do not address them as a nation, are an increased risk for the chronic conditions including diabetes, including hypertension and heart disease. These are the big ones in our country,” said Dr. Hulse-Johnson.
She added: “I do believe that these chronic conditions starting earlier in life set a person up for not only long-term use of medications and the need to manage them medically, but a shortened lifespan.”
Reporting for euronews, Washington Correspondent Stefan Grobe said:
“Experts are ringing the alarm bell. Among America’s children, obesity rates have tripled in a single generation. This may lead to an explosion of already high health care costs, putting America’s very future in jeopardy.”