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Why is Overweight and Obesity a Concern?

Overweight is defined as a body mass index (BMI) over 25. Obesity is defined as a BMI over 30.

Australia is one of the five most obese countries in the world. In 2014 Australian obesity rates were climbing faster than anywhere in the world and our expansion hasn’t slowed.

Right now in Australia, around 63% of adults and 25% of children are overweight or obese, a dramatic increase since the 1980s. If no action is taken now and current trends continue, it is expected that by 2025, 80% of the adult population and 33% of Australian children will be overweight or obese. We’ll have 7.2 million people suffering from obesity in our country.

If you don't think obesity impacts you, think again.

There is a tsunami of health costs heading our way, and each and every one of us is going to be impacted by the increased strain on our health system. It’s going to cost us $87.7 billion over the next ten years to cope with this epidemic.

Our children may be the first generation to be born with a shorter life expectancy than that of their parents. Overweight and obese children are likely to become overweight and obese adults, and those who do not remain overweight through to adulthood will still experience more health problems. Importantly, obesity affects a child's self esteem, development of friendships and competency at school.

Obesity is a risk factor for high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoarthritis, respiratory problems, liver problems, eating disorders and sleep apnoea. Right now, one Australian develops diabetes every five minutes.

All this, and we’re mostly sitting on our hands. Under the last federal budget, nearly $2 billion was cut from the health system for the next five years. This problem is too important and too complex for us to wait for governments to solve it.

Read how you can help.