Obesity is a serious health condition and losing weight can greatly improve your general health, your quality of life and your sense of wellbeing. It can also help to prevent or moderate many harmful diseases.
Being classified as obese is not about carrying a bit of extra body weight. Obesity can lead to life threatening illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, joint problems, obstructive sleep apnoea and some cancers*.
Researchers have shown that obese people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30-35 may live two to four years less than average†. Those people with a BMI of 40-45 may reduce their life expectancy by eight to ten years, which is comparable to the health risks of smoking†.
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* NHMRC, Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Overweight and Obesity in Adults, National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Government, Canberra, 2033. † Prospective Studies Collaboration, Body Mass Index and cause mortality in 900,000 adults: collaborative analysis of 57 Prospective Studies, The Lancet, 2009; 373:1083-96.