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Innovative solutions to wicked problems don't come easy...

Obesity is a complex, wicked systems problem

Obesity is a societal embedded, lifestyle-driven health issue which leads to the resultant devastating non-communicable (NCD) diseases of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer. These NCDs are scaling out of control and threatening to bankrupt national economies due to costs-of-care increases in healthcare systems.

Today, more than half of Americans suffer from one or more chronic diseases. Seventy-five percent (75%) of the $2.8 trillion in annual health care costs in the United States are from chronic diseases that can often be reversed or prevented altogether by a healthy lifestyle. This is also a national security issue because 71% of young Americans (ages 17-24) are ineligible to join the military (mostly due to obesity/lack of physical fitness).


Each year millions of people are diagnosed with chronic disease, and millions more die from their condition. The most common chronic diseases are costing the economy more than $1 trillion annually—and that figure threatens to reach $6 trillion by the middle of the century (~20%+ of GDP).

Health care spending due to obesity is estimated to be as high as $210 billion annually, or 21% of total US national health care spending. As a nation, if we could control our obesity epidemic to where we were just 30 years ago, accounting for the non-medical costs of obesity, the overall annual cost savings would be (estimated) to be $450 billion


Hundreds of billions of dollars are being wasted as a Nation from our treasury due to preventable lifestyle diseases. This is precious capital which can be allocated to increase investment in defense modernization, saved, pay down our national debt or used to address other societal needs such as improving education or our infrastructure.

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