New research published this month in the Australian New Zealand Journal of Health has confirmed that obesity has overtaken tobacco as the leading preventable cause of disease in Australia.
New figures from Western Australia (1), which are expected to reflect across Australia, show the contribution of excessive weight to ill health has more than doubled in just six years.
Did you know that Australia now has one of the highest rates of obesity in the world!
With more than 60 per cent of adults and one in four children overweight or obese. (2).· Fat is rapidly becoming the biggest public health challenge Australia has had to face.
The federal government spends only 2 per cent of the country’s health expenditure on prevention(3), this is clearly not enough!
The Federal Health Minister, Nicola Roxon, has acknowledged that obesity is a serious and growing problem in Australia.(4) The figures are alarming and the obesity epidemic has now reached crisis point, health experts say.
Obesity is a disease that is largely preventable through lifestyle changes. Prevention of excessive weight and obesity involves the development and maintenance of lifelong healthy eating and regular physical activity.
Healthy lifestyles, combining balanced, low fat and low energy diets, with increased levels of physical activity and reductions in sedentary behaviour are crucial to preventing obesity.(5)
People who enjoy regular physical activity tend to feel more energetic, manage their weight better, and feel more confident, happy and relaxed.
Regular Exercise Is Also Known To Prevent:
- Heart Disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Anxiety and depression
Remember that to avoid weight gain, energy expenditure should exceed energy intake. This can be achieved by combining regular physical activity with a healthy, well balanced diet.
Let’s keep moving, eat well & be healthy – your heart & waist line will thank you and you’ll look & feel great!
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(1) Report from WA Govt Dept of Health Media Release April 2010
(2) SMH Article April 2010
(3) IBT Health Article April 2010
(4) Nicola Roxon quote from online article from “Quit Smoking”
(5) The Obesity Society – General Information