For further information please refer to the full study "Impact of overweight, obesity, and severe obesity on life expectancy of Australian adults" published in the International Journal of Obesity

Authors: Lung, T 1,2 Jan, S 1,2 Tan, EJ 2 Killedar, A 2 Hayes, A 2


  1. The George Institute for Global Health, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW, 2042, Australia.
  2. The University of Sydney, Faculty of Medicine and Health, School of Public Health, Sydney, NSW, 2006, Australia.

The growing prevalence of obesity and its association with a wide range of debilitating, chronic and life-threatening conditions represent one of the most significant public health issues faced in Australia. The 2017-18 National Health Survey found over two-thirds of Australians aged 18 years and over were overweight or obese. In the past 20 years, the prevalence of adults with obesity has increased from 19% to 31%.

Without effective action to address the current trend of increasing adult overweight and obesity, the young adult population of today will bear a disproportionate and growing burden of obesity related mortality.

Dr Tom Lung who conducted this study, with researchers from the University of Sydney, writes that he used a dynamic microsimulation model in a nationally representative sample of Australian adults aged 20-69 to project remaining life expectancy and years of life lost due to obesity by age, sex and baseline weight status groups. Modelling results suggests that such investment should have a focus on identifying coherent and sustained obesity prevention strategies targeting young adults which are  the most cost-effective.