Average person will put on 5kg by 2031

STARTLING new figures show the average person will be 5kg heavier by 2031 and about three quarters of us will not be the current normal weight.

At the moment, about 67,000, or 42%, of Toowoomba residents are overweight or obese, University of Adelaide figures show.

This includes about 31,000 women and 36,000 men.

The Heart Foundation has released a report that shows the number of obese Australians will reach 41% in the next 15 years.

The report shows fewer than one in four Australians will be the current normal weight.

Since 1989, the average Queenslander has put on 8kg, Heart Foundation figures show.

In 1989, 10% of Queensland was obese. In 2011-12, that increased to 30%; the highest percentage in the country.

Australia-wide, 28% were obese that year.

In the Christmas period, Heart Foundation general manager Rohan Greenland said urgent action was needed to tackle the obesity epidemic.

"It's fine to enjoy special occasions like Christmas Day, however it is important to make healthy diet choices every other day," Mr Greenland said.

He said 35% of what Australians ate was discretionary food.

"The shift away from a healthy balanced diet to one filled with an ever-increasing supply of cheap, high-calorie foods is a recipe for poor health and one of the main drivers feeding our obesity crisis."

The Heart Foundation has called for a ban on junk food marketing to children and introducing a tax on sugary drinks.

"These policies and others are needed to bring our obesity crisis under control and it needs to happen now - we no longer have time on our side," Mr Greenland said.

The Heart Foundation report conducted with Deakin University also showed cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes cost the Australian health system $16 billion in 2011-12.

By 2031-32, this is expected to skyrocket to $58 billion, or 14% of the current health expenditure.

A person is considered overweight if their body mass index is between 25 and 30 and obese if the index is greater than 30.

FAST FACTS

In Queensland:

35% underweight or normal weight

35% overweight

30% obese

22% of people have an increased risk of a higher waist circumference

Average Queenslander has put on 8kg since 1989

In Australia, the average person has put on 6kg since 1989

*Heart Foundation


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