Aussie women have the fastest rising obesity rate in the world, new research has revealed. According to The Daily Telegraph, for the first time Australian women are close to matching America's obesity level.The study compared the body mass index (BMI)- weight divided by height - of Aussie women with their counterparts in the US, China and the UK and found that their BMI is rising faster than other nations.
The research analysed the top 5percent of obese women in Australia at age 30 and came up with an average BMI score of 37.7. The index's increase over a decade has been more than twice the international average. Many experts say Australia's obesity level has already caught up to America, where the top 5percent of women averaged a BMI score of 42.5.
According to the World Health Organisation women having a BMI of more than 34.9 are critically obese. Health experts are now warning women over 30 years of age not to be complacent about gaining weight. "What we have known is that for the past five years, people have been gaining weight and they are women aged between 25 and 35," News.com.au quoted Professor Ian Caterson, director of the Institute of Obesity, Nutrition and Exercise, as saying.
He added: "What we are worried about is the next generation will be worse than the current one and this research shows it."
Newcastle University associate professor in nutrition and dietetics Dr Clare Collins said: "On average, a person every year will gain up to 300g.
"I don't think the average person realises the extent of the problem. What is alarming is the sheer numbers of people who are getting obese and moving into those high figures."
She added: "We are going to run out of health services for people. Obesity is the biggest driver of cancer in the world." The research has appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.