Aus­tralia’s grow­ing waist­line caus­ing an epi­demic in obe­sity

Isis Town and Country - - News -

STAR­TLING new fig­ures show the av­er­age per­son will be 5kg heav­ier by 2031 and about three-quar­ters of us will not be the cur­rent nor­mal weight.

At the mo­ment, about 43,000, or 43%, of res­i­dents in the Bund­aberg re­gion are over­weight or obese, Univer­sity of Ade­laide fig­ures show.

This in­cludes about 20,000 women and 23,000 men.

The Heart Foun­da­tion has re­leased a re­port that shows the num­ber of obese Aus­tralians will reach 41% in the next 15 years.

The re­port shows fewer than one in four Aus­tralians will be the cur­rent nor­mal weight.

Since 1989, the av­er­age Queens­lan­der has put on 8kg, Heart Foun­da­tion fig­ures show.

In 1989, 10% of Queens­lan­ders were obese. In 2011-12, that in­creased to 30%, the high­est per­cent­age in the coun­try.

Aus­tralia-wide, 28% were obese that year.

In the af­ter­math of Christ­mas, Heart Foun­da­tion gen­eral man­ager Ro­han Green­land said ur­gent ac­tion was needed to tackle the obe­sity epi­demic.

“It’s fine to enjoy spe­cial oc­ca­sions like Christ­mas Day, but it is im­por­tant to make healthy diet choices ev­ery other day,” Mr Green­land said.

He said 35% of what Aus­tralians ate was dis­cre­tionary food.

“The shift away from a healthy bal­anced diet to one filled with an ever-in­creas­ing sup­ply of cheap, high-calo­rie foods is a recipe for poor health and one of the main driv­ers feed­ing our obe­sity cri­sis,” Mr Green­land said.

The Heart Foun­da­tion has called for a ban on junk food mar­ket­ing to chil­dren and the in­tro­duc­tion of a tax on sug­ary drinks.

“Th­ese poli­cies and oth­ers are needed to bring our obe­sity cri­sis un­der con­trol and it needs to hap­pen now – we no longer have time on our side,” Mr Green­land said.

The Heart Foun­da­tion re­port, con­ducted with Deakin Univer­sity, also showed car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease and type 2 diabetes cost the Aus­tralian health sys­tem $16 bil­lion in 2011-12.

By 2031-32, this is ex­pected to sky­rocket to $58 bil­lion, or 14% of the cur­rent health ex­pen­di­ture.

A per­son is con­sid­ered over­weight if their body mass in­dex is be­tween 25 and 30 and obese if the in­dex is greater than 30.

The Heart Foun­da­tion has re­leased a re­port that shows the num­ber of obese Aus­tralians will reach 41% in the next 15 years.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

TALE OF THE TAPE: Aus­tralians are get­ting fat­ter.

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