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Obesity is a growing public health problem around the world, especially in developed countries. Australia is no exception.
In 2007/08 6.9 million Australians or 61% of all adults were overweight or obese (68% men and 55% women with a BMI over 25). 25% of Australian children were overweight or obese (26% boys and 24% girls). National Health Survey, 2007/08 (ABS Cat. No. 4364.0)
Excess weight is associated with a range of illnesses including coronary heart disease and high blood pressure, diabetes, certain types of cancer, gallbladder disease and osteoarthritis - leading to a ballooning of public health care expenditure. The total cost of obesity in 2008 was estimated as $58.2 billion." (The Growing Cost of Obesity in 2008 : three years on, Access Economics)
The obesity epidemic and the desire to look good have created a growing weight management industry. Industry participants include: public health services, GPs, dietitians, exercise physiologists, personal trainers, nutrition consultants, obesity surgeons, naturopaths, weight loss centres, and diet food and herbal product retailers.
Professionals and businesses in the weight management industry are regulated by their relevant registration body or code of conduct. Some industry participants are members of The Weight Management Council Australia Ltd. It administers the Weight Management Code of Practice and oversees its members' compliance.
Many professionals in this field belong to the Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society, a scientific organisation of medical practitioners, dietitians, scientists and other health care professionals interested in obesity research, treatment or public health initiatives directed at the prevention of obesity.
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