Obesity costs $1.3 billion
11:40 AEST Fri May 7 2004
Half of Australian adults are overweight or obese, a parliamentary committee has found.
South Australian parliament's social development committee said the obesity statistics, which included one in four children being overweight or obese, cost the nation $1.3 billion a year.
Committee chairwoman Gail Gago said since 1985, the proportion of overweight children in Australia had doubled and the proportion that were obese had tripled.
Overweight people are regarded as obese when their weight is more than 20 per cent above normal for their gender, age and height.
Ms Gago said the committee identified two causes - poor diet and limited physical exercise.
It supported a two-pronged approach to reverse the trend.
"The two prongs are to increase healthy eating and to increase physical activity," Ms Gago said.
The committee made several recommendations to curb the obesity rate, including limiting television food advertising during child viewing times and implementing minimum exercise regimes for all school students.
SA Health Minister Lea Stevens said the committee's recommendations would be taken into account for the development of a statewide "healthy weight" action plan.
I'm not one of these fat people