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Obesity prevention

Thursday 31 May, 2007

Photo: Measuring your waistlineWhy did the Cancer Council develop an obesity prevention campaign?

Our Obesity Prevention Campaign is based on Cancer Council Victoria research. By promoting our findings, we are hoping we can reduce the the number of people who develop cancer in our community.

By raising awareness of the proven links between being overweight or obese and cancer risk, we encourage all Victorians to maintain or develop a healthy lifestyle.

The role of The Cancer Council Victoria in obesity prevention

The Cancer Council knows that it can't solve the health problems associated with being overweight and obese on its own. That's why we work in partnership with many other organizations on programs such as The Parents Jury, Kids - 'Go for your life' and the Obesity Policy Coalition.

We also undertake our own research activities to help us better understand the links between our lifestyles, genetic heritage and our behaviour, in relation to cancer prevention.

Overweight and Obesity in Australia

Overweight and obesity have recently overtaken tobacco smoking as the leading risk factor for premature death and disease in Australia.

Data collected in Victoria in 2004 shows that men are more likely to be overweight than women at all ages.

Similar proportions of men (14.3%) and women (14.7%) were classified as obese, while 42% of men and 23% of women are overweight.

Health implications of overweight and obesity

Besides increased cancer risk, being overweight or obese also leads to decreased life expectancy and reduced quality of life as a result of:

  • cardiovascular disease
  • type 2 diabetes
  • sleep apnoea
  • osteoarthritis
  • psychological disorders, and
  • social problems.

Obesity is associated with increased health care costs and increased demands on health services. The scale of the problem threatens to reduce the health gains made in recent years in Victoria.

Find out more about our obesity prevention

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