Young Australians getting fatter, study finds

August 19, 2013

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.

Explore further: Thin people get diabetes too

Related Stories

Thin people get diabetes too

August 5, 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

August 6, 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.

Lose weight between babies, study suggests

June 3, 2013
The time between pregnancies is a golden window for obese women to lose weight, a Saint Louis University study finds.

Smoking cessation, weight gain, and subsequent CHD risk

July 2, 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

July 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.

Children of obese mothers at greater risk of early heart death as adults

August 13, 2013
Children of obese and overweight women have a higher risk of early cardiovascular death as adults, finds a study published on BMJ website today.

Recommended for you

Are sugary drink interventions changing people's behaviour?

July 19, 2017
An evaluation of efforts designed to reduce how many sugary drinks we consume shows some success in changing younger people's habits but warns they cannot be the only way to cut consumption.

Young adult obesity: A neglected, yet essential focus to reverse the obesity epidemic

July 18, 2017
The overall burden of the U.S. obesity epidemic continues to require new thinking. Prevention of obesity in young adults, while largely ignored as a target for prevention and study, will be critical to reversing the epidemic, ...

Weight gain from early to middle adulthood may increase risk of major chronic diseases

July 18, 2017
Cumulative weight gain over the course of early and middle adulthood may increase health risks later in life, according to a new study led by researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. They found that, compared ...

Study finds children carry implicit bias towards peers who are overweight

June 23, 2017
Even children as young as 9 years old can carry a prejudice against their peers who are overweight, according to a new study led by Duke Health researchers. They might not even realize they feel this way.

Mother's obesity boosts risk for major birth defects: study

June 15, 2017
Children of obese women are more likely to be afflicted by major birth defects, including malformations of the heart and genitals, according to a study published on Thursday.

New study finds more than 2 billion people overweight or obese

June 12, 2017
Globally, more than 2 billion children and adults suffer from health problems related to being overweight or obese, and an increasing percentage of people die from these health conditions, according to a new study.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.