Wikipedia's entry on "Obesity in the United States" is very well done.
Over a decade the estimated cost of obesity-related illnesses is just under two trillion dollars.
"... rates of obesity in the U.S. have generally leveled off in the past decade among both children and adults. But two-thirds of Americans are still overweight or obese, and the number of people who are severely obese has continued to rise.
It isn't clear where the epidemic is headed. A study published Monday in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine predicted that 42% of the U.S. population will be obese in 2030. In 2009-2010, 35.7% of adults and 16.9% of children were obese, according to CDC data.
One factor that concerns public-health officials is how many of today's more than 12.5 million obese children will remain obese as adults. Also of concern are rising health-care costs, as obesity is linked with costly chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Estimates vary widely as to the cost of obesity-related illnesses; the IOM said it runs to $190.2 billion annually.
Write to Betsy McKay at firstname.lastname@example.org
2008 State Obesity Rates
States with obesity rates higher than 30% are all "red."
These same states exhibit unusually low approval for government dietary intervention such as soda taxes and school lunch modification.
Those who resist government intervention say it represents collective imposition in domains where individuals are invested with personal responsibity.
In theory, individuals should be responsible.
In fact, they are not, especially in red states where individual attention to health maintenance is considerably lower than elsewhere in the country.
When individual irresponsibility invokes collective expense, government has three choices: 1.) to refuse healthcare to those who are irresponsible, 2.) to raise taxes to cover the healthcare expense arising from personal irresponsibilty, 3.) to alter individual healthcare behaviors through taxation and regulation.
Notably, the red state woman, Ms. Mary Brown who first brought suit against Obamacare's individual mandate dropped her suit when she became direly ill and was forced to seek government sponsored healthcare assistance. In 2011, Lead Plaintiff Brown and her husband declared bankruptcy, citing unpaid medical bills of $4500.00. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/03/09/1072926/-Lead-Plaintiff-in-Case-Against-HealthCare-Law-Went-Bankrupt-With-Unpaid-Medical-Bills
U.S. Obesity Rate Will Reach 42%