Expanding waistlines will cost the U.S. $344 billion

If the waistlines of Americans continue to expand, the U.S. will fork out about $344 billion in medical-related expenses by 2018. That will use up about 21% of health care spending, according to the first analysis that examines just how heavy the price tag of being overweight is.

The projections accompany another startling could-be statistic: in 10 years 43% of American adults -- more than four out of every 10 -- will be obese.

This report comes as the country struggles to find ways to curb medical costs and Congress debates health care legislation.