Researchers from the University of Sydney released a distressing report about the state of Australians’ health. They estimate that the prevalence of obese Australians will be worse in the next decade.
In their study published in the International Journal of Obesity, the researchers estimate that obesity among Australian adults will increase up to 35 percent by the year 2025 from its current level at 28 percent. Additionally, they also predict that 13 percent of the country or one in eight Australians will become severely obese, which is defined as having a body mass index of more than 35.
By comparison, only one in 10 young adults, or five percent of the population, was obese in the country back in 1995. In 2014/2015, the rate increased to one in five Australians or nine percent of the population.
This study involved creating a model that predicted weight gain among Australians, taking into account the amount of weight adults gain every year depending on their age, sex and BMI. Their modelling also predicts that one in six women will become severely obese whereas only one in 10 men will suffer the same fate.
According to lead researcher Alison Hayes, an associate professor at the university, the prediction depicts the natural progression of weight gain as those who are already overweight will most likely become obese later on. Australians who already suffer from childhood obesity will start adulthood with a higher BMI and higher chances of obesity, showing that it is the young people who gain more weight each year and not the older ones.
The researcher points out that this weight problem leads to higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and other chronic diseases. Hayes advises weight loss.
If young people would decrease their weight gain by just about 10 percent, it would have a larger effect on Australia’s obesity rates. Hayes hopes that their prediction can guide policy makers on developing strategies about preventing obesity.