Oct 10, 2019

Nearly 25% of people in OECD countries are obese

Empty fast food containers. Photo: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Almost 60% of people in OECD countries are overweight and nearly 25% are obese, according to an analysis from the intergovernmental organization.

Why it matters: Treating obesity-linked diseases in these countries costs $423 billion a year, and they will claim more than 90 million lives over the next 30 years — with life expectancies reduced by nearly 3 years.

  • The OECD is made up of most countries in North America and western Europe — along with others scattered around the globe like Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Israel and Chile.

The state of play: The report predicts nearly 8.5% of the world's health expenditures will be spent toward obesity-linked conditions between 2020 and 2050. In the U.S., that number could be as high as 14%.

  • It found that 50 million more adults became obese from 2010 to 2016.
  • Overweight people are responsible for 70% of all treatment costs for diabetes, 23% of treatment costs for cardiovascular diseases and 9% for cancers.

Of note: Another study published earlier this year found millennials are facing a much higher risk of obesity-related cancers than baby boomers did at their age.

Go deeper: Study: Millennials face greater risk of some cancers due to obesity

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Today's health problems are tomorrow's health crises

Data: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The health troubles we're seeing now — especially among young people — will continue to strain the system for years and even decades to come.

The big picture: Rising obesity rates now will translate into rising rates of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The costs of the opioid crisis will continue to mount even after the acute crisis ends. And all of this will strain what’s already the most expensive health care system in the world.

Go deeperArrowOct 31, 2019 - Health

Millennials sleep and work more than previous generations

Photo: Hinterhaus Productions/Getty Images

A new study from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that millennials work and sleep longer hours and are more likely to socialize in their free-time than previous generations.

Why it matters: The lifestyle tendencies of millennials are driving societal and cultural norms. "In fact, their economic circumstances and daily habits have often led them to be blamed for 'killing' everything, from casual restaurant chains, credit cards to the car industry," writes the Washington Post.

Go deeperArrowOct 19, 2019

70% of millennials say they'd vote for a socialist

Data: YouGov, Victims of Communism; Note: Number of Gen Z respondents: 303, Millennial: 554, Gen X: 494, Boomer: 587, Silent: 162; Chart: Axios Visuals

Young Americans continue to lose faith in capitalism and embrace socialism, according to a new YouGov/Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation survey of more than 2,000 Americans 16 years and older.

Why it matters: Bernie Sanders, a self-avowed democratic socialist, is one of the top presidential candidates in the 2020 Democratic field. His flagship health care proposal, Medicare for All, has driven the national conversation and moved the Democratic Party significantly to the left — even among candidates like Elizabeth Warren who consider themselves capitalists.

Go deeperArrowOct 28, 2019