What is it about?

In 2017–2018, 67% (12.5 million) of Australian adults were overweight or obese. The high prevalence of overweight and obesity impose a considerable burden (both direct and indirect) in Australia. Using nationally representative panel data, we investigate whether obesity is a significant risk factor for non-communicable diseases in Australian middle-aged and older adults. Our findings indicated obese adults were at higher risk of having type 2 diabetes, heart disease, asthma, arthritis, and depression compared with healthy-weight counterparts.

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Why is it important?

Excessive weight is strongly associated with a higher incidence of chronic disease in Australian middle-aged and older adults. Managing obesity has the potential to reduce the prevalence of and mortality from these chronic diseases, and improve health-related quality of life. Our findings have public health implications. Health promotion programs and strategies would be helpful to meet the challenge of excessive weight gain and thus contribute to the prevention of chronic diseases.


It is my sincere wish that the results of our study would be used by policymakers and health practitioners in Australia to formulate effective strategies and targeted health programmes aimed at reducing the burden of chronic disease.

Dr Syed Afroz Keramat
Khulna University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Obesity and the risk of developing chronic diseases in middle-aged and older adults: Findings from an Australian longitudinal population survey, 2009–2017, PLoS ONE, November 2021, PLOS,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0260158.
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