3kg loss could reduce weight impact

Overweight people walk through train station

Relatively small changes could have a significant effect in reducing the health impact of overweight or obesity in Australia, according to a new report from the AIHW

These could be changes as small as losing only three kilograms or maintaining our weight.

The report, Impact of overweight and obesity as a risk factor for chronic conditions: Australian Burden of Disease Study, shows that if all Australians at risk of disease due to overweight or obesity reduced their body mass index by just one point—equating to around three kilograms for a person of average height—the overall health impact of obesity would drop substantially.

The new findings look at the health impact or burden of excess weight in terms of years of healthy life lost through living with an illness or injury, or through dying prematurely.

“Our weight is our second biggest risk factor in terms of the health burden, accounting for 7%,” says AIHW spokesperson Dr Lynelle Moon.

This is behind only tobacco, which accounts for 9% of the burden—though this gap has closed in recent years, as the burden of tobacco drops, and the burden of obesity rises.

Today’s report looks at those who were overweight or obese in 2011, and shows that if this group reduced their weight by just one BMI point, the overall health impact of excess weight would be reduced by 14% in 2020.

“And even if we stopped the rising rates of overweight and obesity in Australia by maintaining our weight, about 6% of this ‘burden’ would be avoided,” Dr Moon says.

The report also shows that the overweight and obesity burden is not equal across all population groups. For example, the lowest socioeconomic group experienced rates of overweight and obesity burden more than double the highest socioeconomic group.

“For the first time, we also have information on the health impact of overweight and obesity in people under 25. For example, for children, the contribution of excess weight to asthma was able to be estimated,” says Dr Moon.

A total of 22 diseases were included in this analysis, including 11 types of cancer, three cardiovascular conditions and dementia.

Notably, around half of diabetes burden (53%) and osteoarthritis burden (45%) were due to overweight and obesity.

Vascular diseases (such as stroke) and risk factors (such as smoking and obesity) were identified as major contributors to the burden of dementia in Australia in an AIHW report released in December.

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1 Comment

  1. Emma

    I was diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes and put on Metformin on June 26th, 2016. I started the ADA diet and followed it 100% for a few weeks and could not get my blood sugar to go below 140. Finally i began to panic and called my doctor, he told me to get used to it. He said I would be on metformin my whole life and eventually insulin. At that point i knew something wasn’t right and began to do a lot of research,Then I found Lisa’s diabetes story (google ” HOW EVER I FREED MYSELF FROM THE DIABETES ” ) ,I read that article from end to end because everything the writer was saying made absolute sense. I started the diet that day and the next morning my blood sugar was down to ,100 and now i have a fasting blood sugar between Mid 70’s and the 80’s, My doctor took me off the metformin after just three week of being on this lifestyle change, I have lost over 30 pounds and 6+ inches around my waist in a month, The truth is we can get off the drugs and help myself by trying natural methods。。

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