If you're reading this story anywhere in the good ol' U.S. of A, chances are by the end of the decade you're gonna be fat.
Sorry, we hate to be the ones to tell you. But according to new research, released Wednesday by Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, that's the sad, corn-syrup-soaked truth. Our country is fat, and getting much, much fatter.
The new projections show that in 2020 the overwhelming majority of Americans will be overweight or obese, and more than half will be suffering from diabetes or pre-diabetic conditions.
Based on previous trends from health and nutrition surveys conducted between 1998 and 2008, the Northwestern team concluded that 83 percent of men and 72 percent of women will be overweight or obese in 2020. That's up from 72 percent of men and 63 percent of women who fit that bill today.
As bad as those numbers sound, the real-life American Horror Story is found in the numbers projecting our near-certain diabetic future:
"We've been dealing with the obesity trend for the past three decades, but the impact we project on blood sugar is a true shock,” said Donald Lloyd-Jones, MD, chair and associate professor of preventive medicine at the Feinberg School of Medicine, a physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and senior author of the study. “Those are some really scary numbers. When blood sugar goes up like that, all of the complications of diabetes come into play."
By 2020, 77 percent of men and 53 percent of women will either be diabetic or pre-diabetic, pushing health spending through the roof, and opening them up to a host of other medical complications, like impaired vision, kidney damage—even the loss of a foot.
So, can anything be done (aside from dumping all our stock in bikini companies)? Yup. Find out how you can Raise Your Hand to Stop Diabetes, or check out TakePart's guide to making an impact during American Diabetes Month. Need more ideas? Head over to First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign and check out her 5 Simple Steps to Success for healthier living.