Should policies invest in reducing childhood obesity to curb the rising obesity levels in Australia?

Obesity affects 2 in 3 adults in Australia and it is set to worsen

A new modelling study shows targeting childhood obesity is important but not enough to reduce adult obesity rates in Australia. 

Using the nationally representative Australian Health Survey data, Lung and colleagues modelled adult obesity levels to 2040 based on three scenarios of stable, increasing or decreasing childhood obesity rates.

The study found that reducing childhood obesity will prevent 280,000 adults from developing obesity by 2040.  However, the modest effect is not enough to meet the World Health Organization’s Global Action Plan to reduce overweight and obesity prevalence to 2010 levels by 2025.

Overweight and obesity affects people of all ages and prevention strategies should not focus on one life stage while neglecting the others.  These findings call for a coordinated and comprehensive suite of obesity prevention strategies across all life stages to manage the obesity crisis in Australia.

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