Young Australians getting fatter, study finds

Young Australians have a reputation for being fit and enjoying a sporty, outdoorsy lifestyle, but research released Monday found they are stacking on more weight than any other age group.

The alarming findings of the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study have raised concerns that by putting on so much weight in their 20s and 30s, Australians are at more risk of developing diabetes in .

"The trend for greater amongst people aged 25-34 is very concerning and suggests Australia still does not recognise the serious associated with being overweight or obese," said study co-chief investigator Jonathan Shaw.

"The health and well-being of a whole generation of young Australians is being compromised by a lifestyle rich in energy-dense foods and low on ."

The study, which has tracked 11,000 respondents across the nation over 12 years, found that for all ages the average weight gain was 2.6 kilograms (5.7 pounds).

But those aged 25-34 when they first interviewed for the study in 1999 or 2000, had stacked on the most since then, with an average 6.7 kilogram gain.

"We've seen that over 12 years people are, on average, continuing to put on weight," said Shaw, who called for tough decisions from governments to improve .

"On average 5.3 centimetres (2.1 inches) extra across the whole population but particularly so in younger adults."

Waistlines for the original 25-34 group stretched 6.6 centimetres over the period.

The study revealed major between participant's perceptions about how long they spent sitting and the actual amount of time in which they were sedentary.

Participants self-reported that they spent an average of 200 minutes a day sitting but measurement devices worn by them recorded an average 500 minutes a day spent sitting down.

The study is the largest Australian longitudinal population-based study of its kind and has tracked the 11,000 respondents for more than a decade to determine how many of the participants develop diabetes, obesity, kidney and heart disease.

The latest data, taken in 2011-12, found that living in the most socially disadvantaged areas doubled the risk of developing diabetes while the prevalence of depression was much higher in obese people.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Thin people get diabetes too

Aug 05, 2013

Pointing the finger at fat as the major or sole contributor to contracting type 2 diabetes is misleading and wrongly promotes the idea that the condition is entirely self-induced, research at Flinders University has found.

China young adults getting fatter, report says

Aug 06, 2013

China's young adults are gaining more weight and exercising less than their elders, local media said on Tuesday, underscoring the fast-developing country's growing struggle with modern health problems.

Smoking cessation, weight gain, and subsequent CHD risk

Jul 02, 2013

The authors used data from the Women's Health Initiative to assess the association between smoking cessation, weight gain, and subsequent coronary heart disease risk among postmenopausal women with and without diabetes.

Diabetes risk for elderly couch potatoes in Australia

Jul 24, 2012

(Medical Xpress) -- Australians aged 60 and over spend more time watching TV than other adults and are at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a new study from The University of Queensland has found.

Recommended for you

Targeting the brain to treat obesity

Jul 23, 2014

Unlocking the secrets to better treating the pernicious disorders of obesity and dementia reside in the brain, according to a paper from American University's Center for Behavioral Neuroscience. In the paper, researchers ...

User comments