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Heart Foundation research show health risks increasing as Australia gets heavier

Heart Foundation research show health risks increasing as Australia gets heavier
February 24, 2014

New data from the Australian Heart Foundation shows the weight of the average Australian adult has increased by more than 5.7 kilograms over the past 25 years, with the average Australian man now weighing 85.9kg - 6.5kg heavier than he was in 1989.

Analysing the severity of the nation's weight problem, the Heart Foundation's breakdown of its national health surveys from 1980, 1983 and 1990, as well as government data from 1995, 2008 and 2012, also shows the average woman has also gained 5.7kg in the past 25 years and now tips the scales at 71.1kg.

Australian Heart Foundation National Director of Cardiovascular Health Dr Robert Grenfell, said it means two thirds of Australians now fall outside the healthy weight range.

Dr Grenfell stated "to return to a healthy weight range an average man would need to lose 8.9kg and woman would need to lose 5.7kg.

"The combined weight loss required is just short of 120 million kilograms across the nation.

"We're calling on all Australians to have a good look in the mirror this Healthy Weight Week and ask themselves whether their weight is putting their health in danger."

The analysis highlights the average Body Mass Index (BMI) for men is up from 25.3 to 27.9 since 1989 and the average for women is up from 24.3 to 27.2.

Dr Grenfell added "it's scary that two in three Australians are now above the healthy weight range, making overweight and obese weight ranges more 'normal' than healthy.

"The easiest way of working out if your weight is healthy is to calculate your BMI, which takes into account your height and weight.

"The healthiest BMI is relatively lean, at around 22.5-24.9 which is equivalent to a weight of 70-77kg for an Australian man of average height and 59-65kg for an Australian woman of average height."

In comparison to 1980, the proportion of obese adult Australians has tripled, while the number of people in the healthy weight range has almost halved.

This wake-up call comes after new research last week dispelled the myth that overweight people live longer.

Carrying too much body fat puts people at risk of cardiovascular disease, the number one killer of Australian men and women, as well as diabetes, some cancers and numerous other health problems.

For more information go to the Healthy Weight Week website at www.healthyweightweek.com.au/

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We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

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