NEW research by the Heart Foundation and Deakin University has shown less than one in four Australians will be in a healthy weight range by 2031 if the current trends continue.
RESEARCH by the Heart Foundation and Deakin University reveals if current weight trends continue, less than one in four Australians will be a normal healthy weight by 2031.
The research also found by 2031-32 more Australians will be obese, instead of overweight or normal, based on their BMI (Body Mass Index), with the average person set to be 5kg heavier in the same timeframe.
National Heart Foundation general manager of advocacy Rohan Greenland said obesity and unhealthy diets had overtaken smoking as the leading preventable health burden.
It was also behind the surge in heart disease and diabetes.
“It’s fine to enjoy special occasions like Christmas Day, however it is important to make healthy diet choices every other day,” he said.
“The shift 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 with 35 per cent of Australians’ diet coming from discretionary foods (don’t provide the necessary nutrients), the obesity crisis was blatantly visible.
“We need to face the reality that unless urgent interventions are made to curb our growing waistlines, Australia will be a country plagued with poor heath and increased economic burden in terms of health funding,” he said.
“Great improvements can be made through policies designed to counter the problem, such as ceasing junk food marketing to children, introducing a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages and supercharging the national food reformulation program.
“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.”
The Heart Foundation has called on the Government to develop and implement a comprehensive national obesity prevention strategy and National Physical Activity Action Plan to curb Australia’s growing obesity crisis.