Media Note: Losing 3kg can save your life


An Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report has found small changes such as losing just 3kg or maintaining your current weight can dramatically reduce your chances of a premature death.

The new report — Impact of overweight and obesity as a risk factor for chronic conditions: Burden of Disease Study — finds that if all Australians at risk of disease due to overweight or obesity reduced their body mass index (BMI) by just one point — about 3kg for a person of average height — the overall health impact of obesity would drop substantially.

Maurice Swanson, CEO of the Heart Foundation (WA) says: “Obesity has now climbed to be the second greatest cause of burden of disease on Australians. This is only behind smoking as the greatest public health challenge for the nation.

“It has become a major factor in contributing to the ill health of Australians, and is accountable for at least 22 different diseases.

“But this report shows that by reducing your body weight by as little as 3kg it could save your life and help reduce the effects of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and dementia.”

The report also shows the overweight and obese burden is not equal across the population with the lowest socioeconomic group having rates more than double that of the higher socioeconomic groups. 

Maurice Swanson, is available to comment and interviews.

Please find the link to the full AIHW report at

For further information and interview opportunities, please contact Andrew Shipp, acting media manager, Heart Foundation (WA) on 0431 912 317