The number of people who are obese is rising rapidly worldwide, making obesity one of the fastest developing public health problems. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has described the problem of obesity as a "worldwide epidemic".
Recent studies estimate that more than half of all Australian women (52 per cent) and two-thirds of men (67 per cent) are overweight or obese. That is, almost 60 per cent of the adult population in Australia is overweight or obese.
The prevalence of obesity in Australia has more than doubled in the past 20 years - the prevalence is 2.5 times higher now than in 1980.
Rates of childhood obesity in Australia are at one of the highest among developed nations - 25 per cent of Australian children are currently overweight or obese.
In the 10-year period from 1985 to 1995, the level of combined overweight/obesity in Australian children more than doubled, while the level of obesity tripled in all age groups and for both sexes.
Obesity is a health crisis that is costing the Australian government up to $1.5 billion a year in direct health costs.
Information courtesy of The Obesity Society.
This disease is being researched in the following projects: