DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A new report says nearly 60 percent of Michigan residents could be obese by 2030 and health care costs could soar if the state doesn’t start shedding pounds.

The report released Tuesday by Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation says the number of obese adults in Michigan expanded from 30.5 percent to 31.3 percent, making it the nation’s fifth fattest state.

The study says more than 12 percent of Michigan’s high school students are obese.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers an adult with a body mass index of 30 or higher obese.

“This study shows us two futures for America’s health,” said Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, RWJF president and CEO. “At every level of government, we must pursue policies that preserve health, prevent disease and reduce health care costs. Nothing less is acceptable.”

The study says the increase could contribute to millions of new cases of diabetes, heart disease and other obesity-related diseases by 2030, while health care costs could climb 19 percent.

The report includes a list of recommendations to combat the problem, including  implementing new school meal standards and updating nutrition standards for snack foods and beverages in schools and more support for federal food and nutrition programs.

“We know a lot more about how to prevent obesity than we did 10 years ago,” said Jeff Levi, PhD, executive director of TFAH.  “This report outlines how policies like increasing physical activity time in schools and making fresh fruits and vegetables more affordable can help make healthier choices easier. Small changes can add up to a big difference. Policy changes can help make healthier choices easier for Americans in their daily lives.”

Get more study details at this link.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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