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Australia is world's fattest nation
By Tamara McLean
June 19, 2008 06:04pm
www.news.com.au

Article from: AAPFont size: + - Send this article: Print Email
AUSTRALIA is officially the heavyweight champion of the world, according to figures showing the nation has a greater proportion of obese citizens than the US.

The latest comprehensive obesity study has shown that 26 per cent of adult Australians – almost four million – are now obese, one million more than the last calculation in 1999.

The findings give Australia top spot as the world's most overweight nation, ahead of the notoriously super-sized Americans, who have a 25 per cent obesity rate.

"That, unfortunately, makes us the heavyweight champions, a title we don't really want," said Professor Simon Stewart, head of preventative cardiology at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute.

Experts are now calling for extreme measures like gym discounting and denial of surgery based on body mass index (BMI) to rectify the situation.

The report, entitled Australia's Future Fat Bomb, was released ahead of the Federal Government's obesity inquiry.

It presents the results of height and weight checks carried out on 14,000 adult Australians nationwide in 2005, giving the most thorough picture of obesity since the AusDiab study in 1999.

The report reveals that nine million adults have a BMI over 25, making them overweight or obese, an increase from seven million.

Four million are obese, up from three million.

Middle-aged Australians are leading the way, with seven in 10 men and six in 10 women aged 45 to 64 now registering a BMI of 25 or more.

An analysis of the data shows that there will be an extra 700,000 heart-related hospital admissions in the next 20 years due to obesity alone.

Almost 125,000 people will die as a result, many prematurely.

"I would regard this as now the biggest threat to our future health," Prof Stewart said.

"As we send our athletes off to the Olympics let's reflect on the fact that we would win the gold medal now in the world fat Olympics if there was such a thing."

The report calls for a national weight loss strategy on the scale of smoking and skin cancer campaigns, including subsidising gym memberships and personal training sessions for heavier people.

Wait lists for surgery could be prioritised on the basis of weight loss.

"This isn't just targeting a small group," Prof Stewart said.

"We're talking about the majority who fit into these categories now.

"These are some of the controversial things we need to deal with because the healthcare system is going to be overwhelmed by weight-related hospitalisations from knee replacements through to heart attacks and strokes."

Professor Ian Caterson, director of the Institute of Obesity, Nutrition and Exercise at the University of Sydney, agreed such measures were needed.

"Governments have to start thinking outside the square because as we get fatter and older as a nation things are just going to get worse," Prof Caterson said.
 

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What a disgrace. Good to see the usual idiots out railing against BMI as if they were the one in a hundred exception. They remind me of the sort of disgusting lardballs who will happily shovel countless big mac meals into their bloated selves while declaring they have glandular issues.... glandular issues causing decades of overeating combined with complete and utter sloth apparently. Fat people are scum, render them down and solve the oil crisis.
 

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I’ve noticed a growing trend that being overly large is somehow acceptable. I’m sick of these people (with smokers) assuming my tax dollars through their probable health requirements. Taxes should be regressive for these people – i.e. if you are fat pay more tax!
 

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I have no sympathy with fat people, bloody salad dodgers.
 

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shocker. has anyone very been to shopping centres in day time? freak show


you will save!!
 

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I’ve noticed a growing trend that being overly large is somehow acceptable. I’m sick of these people (with smokers) assuming my tax dollars through their probable health requirements. Taxes should be regressive for these people – i.e. if you are fat pay more tax!
While I agree with your sentiment-- it is unethical. Ultimately public health need's to remain unconditional.
 

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Fat people are scum, render them down and solve the oil crisis.
That's a pretty scummy thing to say, on your part.

It's not as simple as someone eating... just because. My mother is overweight (not obese, however), from her anxiety and depression when my father had cancer-- that is no excuse-- it's the reason. Her diet did not really change, but the stress impacted her immensely. She feel's awful about herself and has dealt with her troubles and is losing the weight, but I find the reference to people being "scum" as a little harsh.
 

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I was somewhat shocked when I heard this in the news. I didn't know we were that close to the USA.

Technically I'm overweight, according to my BMI. Yet given my height I probably still weigh less than some of you guys, especially the taller blokes. Am I scum?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I agree with Alpha. While it's true that most overweight people's health problems are brought on by their own behaviour (at least in part) the same is actually true for most health problems. Using the same logic, a drug addict or alcoholic should be denied assistance in beating their addiction. Most heart attack victims, some road accident victims, many cancer sufferers (cancer is often the result of lifestyle choices), people who are injured while playing rugby, etc. etc. would also be denied medical assistance...
 

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Blimey you lot, what appalling comments :bash:

I have certainly experienced middle-aged spread over the last 10 years and am definitely now overweight at age 44, but i am certainly not scum.

Its not simply a question of being lazy when the whole western world is experiencing increasing levels of overweight (that word never looks right to me btw, needs a "ness" or "hood" attached surely?).

Personally i put my weight gain down to when i hit 35 and stopped going to clubs :lol:
 

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shocker. has anyone very been to shopping centres in day time? freak show
Seriously, if anyone ever feels bad about your own body a visit to Browns Plains Plaza or Toombul Mall in Brisbane will show you that there are a million people out there in a much worse shape than you.

And whats the deal with the sweat pants?
 
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