SUSSEX COUNTY, Del.- America is getting fatter, and that includes the Delmarva Peninsula.
Disease rates and health care costs are expected to skyrocket by the year 2030, according to "F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2012," a new report by Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Nationally, by 2030, 13 states could have adult obesity rates above 60 percent.
Health experts say the number of people getting fatter on Delmarva is also growing.
Researchers of the study say the obesity rate in Delaware could jump to 64.7 percent by 2030; 49.7 percent in Virginia and 58.8 percent in Maryland.
"The root of the problem is that we have too much food and less activity," said Francisco Padilla, an endocrinologist with Nanticoke Health Services in Seaford, Del.
Padilla said Delaware's obesity rates cannot afford to go any higher.
"Obesity is a disease, so treatment that we have is kind of limited. We go from diet and exercise to surgery," he said.
Padilla said a healthy America begins with nutrition.
Health experts say that when shopping for healthy foods at grocery stores, it is not entirely about what you put in your cart that matters most.
John Hollis, a senior advisor with Nemours Health and Prevention Services in Seaford, said the report is shocking.
"There's a potential disaster for our health care system," he said. "The warning is there and if we develop the will we can dramatically address this. The doctors tell us that. If we get an hour of physical activity, with more fruits and vegetables in our diet, cut back on sugar-flavored drinks, an hour of physical activity we're going to be OK."
Padilla said he is concerned about skyrocketing health care costs.
Doctors said extra weight can increases the risks of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, many types of cancer, sleep apnea and other debilitating and chronic illnesses.
"The costs for Delaware are going to be at least 14 percent more," Padilla said. It is a cost that many in Delaware will not be able to afford, according to Padilla.
Saturday, May 18 2013 10:19 AM EDT2013-05-18 14:19:20 GMT
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