Obesity In Australia Essay

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Uda Widanapathirana Obesity is the accumulation of excessive body fat to the extent that it may impair health. Affected persons are predisposed to illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, high blood, pressure, and disturb the management of chronic disorders. The cost of treatment and healthcare of obesity related disease and other indirect costs are of concern due to rising obesity rates. To accommodate for these increasing costs, a fat tax has been suggested to discourage an excess unhealthy food intake through taxing foods with high sugar or fat content. Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of height vs. weight; a BMI of 25 kg/m2 and 30kg/m2 defines an individual as overweight or obese respectively. Obesity gradually develops through an over consumption of unhealthy food and lack of physical activity. 63.4% of Australian adults are overweight, with 28.3% of the population also being obese (ABS, 2012). Australia is ranked as one of the ‘fattest’ countries in the developed world; preceded by only the United States with 33.8% of their population obese (OECD, 2012). Figure 1. Prevalence Of Obesity In Developing Countries (%Total Population).…show more content…
Obesity bares two costs economically; direct costs of treatment and healthcare of obesity related disease, and indirect costs of productivity losses (absenteeism contributing to forgone revenue), premature mortality, as well as, carers, technology, and welfare payments for the obese. In 2005 the total direct and indirect cost of obesity in Australia was $3.767 billion dollars; of this 23% ($873 million) were costs to the healthcare system (Access Economics, 2006). Direct healthcare costs rose in 2010 to $1.3 billion, indirect costs to $6.6 billion, and including burden of disease costs (reduced quality of life) raising the total economic cost to $37.7 billion dollars (Medibank, 2010, pg.

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