New study adds weight to LiveLighter’s obesity campaign
A study published in The Lancet has found that that being overweight or obese is associated with an increased risk of dying prematurely, more so men.
With almost two thirds of Australians overweight or obese, the study reinforces the importance of reducing overweight and obesity, and the role of public health campaigns such as LiveLighter, Australia’s leading healthy lifestyle program.
The worldwide study of almost four million people included Australians, and found that the risk of premature death (before 70 years of age) increases with body weight. Obese men, with a BMI of 30-35 are 50 per cent more likely to die prematurely than their healthy weight counterparts. The equivalent figure for women is 30 per cent.
The risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer, highlighted in LiveLighter’s hard-hitting advertising campaign, were also reported in the study to increase in those who were overweight and obese.
LiveLighter’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Manager, Steve Pratt, said the results are particularly troubling because the rates of overweight and obesity in Australia are higher in men than in women.
“These new data suggest that we are going continue to see the rise of obesity-related diseases which will put our health system under considerable pressure,” Mr Pratt said.
“While the results are worrisome for overweight and obese people, it highlights the importance of the strategies adopted by LiveLighter.”
Since 2012, LiveLighter has informed West Australians of the health risks associated with overweight and obesity, through the graphic ‘grabbable gut’ advertisements.
A healthy weight is defined as waist measurement of under 94 centimetres for men, and under 80 centimetres for women, and body mass index (BMI) of between 18.5 and 24.9 for both sexes. For more information and help to lose weight, visit www.livelighter.com.au.
For media enquiries please contact Elizabeth Palmer, Communications Manager, on 08 9382 5935 or Elizabeth.Palmer@heartfoundation.org.au.