Almost two-thirds of Australian adults and one in four children are overweight or obese. Excess weight is responsible for 7200 deaths each year in Australia. Obesity costs the Australian economy $38 billion a year, through more than four million days lost from work, over $1 billion in medical costs, as well as the cost of premature death.
It has taken 20 years for Australian adults on average to gain 4kg in weight, and this is a primary driver of the diabetes epidemic. An average weight loss of 4kg in adults will prevent most people getting diabetes. An average weight loss of 2kg in adults will reduce the conversion of people with pre-diabetes to diabetes by 30%. Our challenge is to roll back the advancement of diabetes in our community to achieve the same weight we averaged in 1995.
People in Western Sydney are living in a diabetogenic environment where the population, community, local economy and built environment make it difficult for the residents to engage in a healthy lifestyle. We need to urgently change the environment in which people live, work and play to address the social determinants of poor health in Western Sydney.