We’re fatter than we thought

Millions more Australians may be obese than previously thought, because the usual method of measuring obesity has dramatically underestimated the problem according to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald last year. 

Now before you point the finger…yes, I definitely fall into that category.

Unfortunately I missed gym this morning.

That makes 5 years in a row

O.K. here’s the bad news:

A study of more than 4000 Australian adults found 27 per cent were obese according to their body mass index, a measure of the relationship between their height and weight.

This figure matches the latest estimate for the prevalence of obesity in the Australian population.

But when researchers measured the waists of their subjects, they found 49 per cent were obese.

average waist circumferenceOne of the researchers, Anna Peeters, the head of obesity and population health at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, said body mass index (BMI) was usually used to measure obesity because it was more straightforward than measuring waist circumference.

But she said waist circumference was a stronger predictor of health problems such as heart disease and diabetes, and the latest findings showed relying on BMI missed many cases of obesity.

”It shows fairly conclusively that if we only use BMI, we’re missing a large proportion of the burden of obesity,” Associate Professor Peeters said.

”We need to move to population measurements that include waist circumference, even though that’s tricky.”

A man is considered obese if he measures more than 102 centimetres around the waist, while a woman is obese if her waist measures more than 88 centimetres.

”The overall burden of obesity is even greater than we thought previously,” she said.

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Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who create wealth for their clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and his opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit Metropole.com.au

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