Brett Wortman

Fat chance of dieting? Well think again – obesity kills

OBESITY is killing us. It can lead to cancer, diabetes and heart disease - and new research shows in 15 years about three out of four Australians will be obese or overweight.

A Heart Foundation report released in December warned obesity and unhealthy diets are Australia's leading preventable health burden with 75% of the population on track to be overweight or obese by 2031-32.


Heart Foundation health director Rachelle Foreman said obesity put extra pressure on the heart.

High saturated fat and sugar diets associated with obesity were also key risks in developing heart problems.

"For every kilo of body fat people cart, they have a whole network of blood vessels which puts more stress on the heart," she said.

Similarly, Diabetes Queensland chief Michelle Trute said obesity was leading to a type 2 diabetes epidemic.

"People might look in the mirror and think they need to lose weight because of the glamour of being thin," she said.

"But what you can't see is the damage that obesity can do to your body."

She said it was "never too late" for people to take action and reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes that can lead to heart, kidney and other diseases.

Cancer Council Queensland's Katie Clift said obesity can also increase the chances of developing cancers of the bowel, esophagus, pancreas, kidney, endometrium, ovaries, gallbladder or thyroid.

"Having a poor diet, being physically inactive and being overweight or obese can increase the risk of a range of chronic diseases, including certain cancers," she said.

"In many areas of Australia, cancer diagnoses due to overweight and obesity are increasing."



  • The recommended approximate kilojoule intake for the average Australian is 8700 per day. 
  • But this depends on age, weight, gender and exercise.
  • You can get a personalised estimate of recommended daily kJ intake at the NSW Government website
  • It can be tracked easily on smartphone apps such as MyFitnessPal and Lose It.

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