Obesity

POSITION

The financial ‘cost’ of obesity aside – the Obesity ‘epidemic’ is costing Australian lives.

Excess weight, especially obesity, is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some musculoskeletal conditions and some cancers. As the level of excess weight increases, so does the risk of developing these conditions. In addition, being overweight can hamper the ability to control or manage chronic conditions.

A healthy Australia is a strong Australia – so it’s in the best interests of our nation, now – and into the future, that we minimise the negative health consequences associated with obesity.

It’s in the best interests of Future Australians that we find a solution for this complex issue ASAP.

Future Australia pledges to research this issue thoroughly, taking time to look to other countries who have had success tackling and reducing obesity, then publish simple & clear infographic(s) to inform Australians to explain the key elements of the ‘problem’ as well as the various ‘positions’ and ‘solutions’ available. Once you have the data – we’ll ask you what YOU think we should vote for in parliament.

That’s the pledge.

Research > Publish & Inform > Vote

…. we are a new (& seriously under-funded) movement. We’d love to have a team of researchers getting this data together for you right now… but alas, we’re not big enough to pay people yet! So bare with us, below we have outlined the facts available to us right now! Watch this space!

FACTS

  • In 2011-12, 62.8% of Australians aged 18 years and over were overweight or obese, comprised of 35.3% overweight and 27.5% obese. A further 35.5% were of normal weight and 1.7% were underweight. (Source)
  • The prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased in Australia over time, from 56.3% in 1995 and 61.2% in 2007–08. (Source)
  • Overweight and obesity varies with age, with 74.9% of people aged 65-74 years being overweight or obese, compared with 36.4% of people aged 18-24 years. (Source)
  • In 2005, overweight and obese Australian adults cost the Australian economy $21 billion in direct health care and direct non-health care costs, plus an additional $35.6 billion in government subsidies. (Source)
  • Obesity among children and adolescents is linked to an increased risk of long-term health problems and may also diminish the quality of life in the short-term. The World Health Organisation (WHO) acknowledges that childhood obesity is a complex issue having many interrelated factors, both within and outside of the health sector; including levels of physical activity, dietary habits, environment, education, cultural and socioeconomic status. (Source)
  • The high rate of childhood obesity in Australia is a major health concern for State and Federal Governments. Comparisons with other advanced economies internationally shows that Australia has one of the highest rates of obesity in the world.

ADDITIONAL READING

  • Four things Australia could do to tackle the obesity crisis (Source)
  • Australia: The Healthiest Country by 2020 (Source)
  • Obesity Prevention (Source)
  • Obesity in Australia (Source)
  • Economic Costs of Obesity (Source)
  • National Health & Medical Research Council (Source)
  • Australian Medical Association (Source)