Overweight and obesity

Maintaining a healthy body weight contributes to normal growth and development in children, and can reduce risk of disease and mortality across all age groups.

Overweight and obesity generally arises when energy intake through diet exceeds energy expended through physical activity. Excess weight (especially obesity) can increase risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, and some cancers. 

The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend maintaining a healthy weight, with a body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9 kg/m2 and waist circumference less than 94cm for men and 80cm for women.

Australia's Health 2016 reports that almost two thirds of adults are overweight or obese, and one quarter of children are already overweight or obese.

ACDPA's work

In a response to the 2018 Senate Select Committee into the Obesity Epidemic in AustraliaACDPA recommended the development of a national obesity strategy that considers the environmental, social and commercial influences on obesity.

In 2017, ACDPA joined leading public health groups in prioritising actions to address obesity in Australia, resulting in the Tipping the Scales. Australian Obesity Prevention Consensus report.

Link to ACDPA resources

Sources: AIHW Evidence for chronic disease risk factors; AIHW Australia's Health 2016; NHMRC Australian Dietary Guidelines 2013; AIHW Risk factors for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease 2015; AIHW Cancer in Australia 2014.

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