SYDNEY, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- Young Australian adults who are obese can expect to lose up to 10 years in life expectancy, with those in their 20s and 30s most at risk, according to latest research.
"We know that excess weight has an impact on your health, but to have excess weight as a young adult is really significant on life expectancy. We are talking about losing up to 10 years of your life," Dr Thomas Lung from the Sydney-based George Institute for Global Health medical research group said in a statement on Thursday about the research that he led.
The study, which also involved the University of Sydney, used new modeling analysis that predicted that about 36.3 million years of life will be lost over the lifetime of today's Australian adult population as a result of overweight and obesity.
Healthy-weight men in their 20s can expect to live another 57 years on average while women in similar situations can expect to live another six decades, according to the researchers, but women who are obese in early adulthood stand to lose six of those years and men can lose eight of them.
There has also been a threefold increase in the prevalence of severe obesity in young adults since 1995, said the researchers.
"There is the assumption that overweight and obesity is a problem for people in middle age, and that people in their 20s and 30s are in the prime of their lives. Yet currently, only 43 percent of Australian men in their 20s and 34 percent in their 30s are in a healthy weight range, which is worrying," said the university's Associate Professor Alison Hayes, who co-authored the report on the findings published in the International Journal of Obesity.
"Our model predicts adult obesity prevalence will increase to 35 percent by 2025. We need to act now and have an obesity prevention strategy targeting adults at all ages and in particular young adults," said Lung.