​One out of every two people in Australia is overweight. It's starting to feel normal. There are many reasons why it isn't healthy to be overweight. Most of us know that if we eat too much and don’t do enough exercise, we will gain weight. 80% of us are not active enough, 90% don’t eat enough vegetables and 50% don’t eat enough fruit. Being inactive or overweight means we are missing out on the important things in life like having enough energy to enjoy the day or keeping up with the kids.

The busy pace of life means we put our health on hold. Before we know it, the extra kilos start creeping on, our clothes feel too tight and we can’t keep up with the kids.

The good news is that it’s not too late to do something about it. Every little step you take towards improving your health is a step in the right direction. By increasing the number of healthy choices you make, you’re increasing your quality of life, and protection against chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, stroke and some cancers.

Start with small, simple and manageable steps that can add up to big improvements to your health and wellbeing. Adding a walk into your day and choosing fruit or vegies over unhealthy snack foods are great ways to start. Build on these changes over time, and before you know it you will start to have more energy and get more out of life.

Achieving a healt​hy weight

To achieve a healthy weight, you will need to be more physically active and eat healthier. Your weight can be affected by:

  • the amount of energy (kilojoules) that you consume from eating and drinking
  • the amount of energy (kilojoules) that you use up through physical activity.

When the amount of energy (kilojoules) you get from food and drink is more than you use up through physical activity and daily activities, then you will gain weight. To lose weight, you need to eat healthier foods and drinks, be mindful of portion sizes, eat in-line with how physically active you are and increase your physical activity levels.

Evidence shows that every kilogram of excess weight you lose brings health benefits which can remain for a long time following weight loss. A weight loss of 5 – 10% significantly reduces your risk of chronic disease. There is evidence that increasing your levels of physical activity irrespective of weight loss can improve health outcomes. There is also emerging evidence that positive healthy behaviours (such as physical activity and healthy eating) reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, regardless of BMI.

Page Updated: Tuesday 17 February 2015
Contact page owner: Centre for Population Health