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Updated from 11:10 a.m. EDT

Obesity has steadily become a national nightmare in the U.S. and is on its way to becoming a global epidemic. For the first time in hundreds of years, the average lifespan could actually begin to decrease because of the effects of obesity.

Here are some basic numbers:

  • Two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese.
  • Roughly 60 million Americans are considered obese.
  • Within 50 years, obesity will likely shorten the average lifespan of Americans -- 77.6 years -- by at least two to five years.
  • Some 3.8 million Americans weigh over 300 pounds.
  • The prevalence of obesity among children has quadrupled in the past 25 years.

Unfortunately, I believe the war against obesity is over. And obesity has won. At Stockpickr, we've identified a stock play that takes advantage of a media trend that can perfectly capitalize on our failure to win this war.

Hint: It's


a diet, health or fitness-related stock. That means it's not

Weight Watchers

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Life Time Fitness

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To read the rest of this story and find out what the ultimate play on obesity is, please click here.

A note from James Altucher:Every weekend I send an email to Jim Cramer and several hedge fund managers about the most interesting portfolios posted on Stockpickr that week. Usually those portfolios not only list stocks according to atheme but also offer significant analysis as to why the stocks are cheap.Here are some examples: Here's the challenge: Build a portfolio at with greatanalysis, and send me the link. Each great portfolio (with analysis)will get posted on with your byline (as a "StockpickrGuest Columnist") and will be included in my email I send to Jim and the otherhedge fund managers on my list.

At the time of publication, Altucher and/or his fund had no positions in stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.

James Altucher is president of


LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of and part of its network of Web properties, and a managing partner at Formula Capital, an alternative asset management firm that runs a fund of hedge funds. He is also a weekly columnist for the

Financial Times

and the author of

Trade Like a Hedge Fund


Trade Like Warren Buffett



. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Altucher appreciates your feedback;

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