Obesity is a serious health condition and losing weight can greatly improve your general health, your quality of life and your sense of wellbeing.
It can also help to prevent or moderate many harmful diseases.
Being classified as obese is not about carrying a bit of extra body weight.
Obesity can lead to life-threatening illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, joint problems, obstructive sleep apnoea and some cancers*.
Researchers have shown that obese people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30-35 may live two to four years less than average.
Those people with a BMI of 40-45 may reduce their life expectancy by eight to ten years, which is comparable to the health risks of smoking.
What are the causes of obesity?
Obesity could be caused by any combination of the following:
The genes you inherited from your parents
How well your body turns food into energy
Your eating and exercising habits
What is your Body Mass Index (BMI)?
The BMI calculator compares your weight to your height, by dividing your weight (in kilograms) by your height (in metres squared).
Your BMI gives you an idea of whether you’re 'underweight', a 'healthy' weight, 'overweight', or 'obese' for your height.
The BMI calculator is a tool that is used to help health professionals assess the risk for chronic disease. Another important tool is waist circumference.
It is also very important to understand other risk factors that relate to you.
BMI is a useful measurement for most people over 18 years old. But it is only an estimate and it doesn’t take into account age, ethnicity, gender and body composition.
Please note that this calculator is not intended to provide or replace professional medical advice and shouldn’t be used for pregnant women or children.
How can obesity be treated?
"Anti-obesity (or 'bariatric') surgery is still the only management for marked obesity that has been shown to consistently cause long-term weight loss, usually with resolution or improvement of weight-related diseases such as diabetes.
But it has also been shown in many studies now, that bariatric surgery provides far better results if it is accompanied by proper support by the surgeon, bariatric dietitian, bariatric psychology, and managed exercise programs, particularly if delivered in an environment dedicated to helping weight loss patients, and not just a general exercise facility such as a general gym.
These research findings have led me to work with Your Health Hub to develop a specific bariatric program to assist before and after anti-obesity surgery, utilizing staff trained specifically in the management of overweight, and in a dedicated facility for patients undertaking weight management.
I now strongly recommend all new bariatric surgery patients be supported in the BQHH program, and I am progressively informing all previous bariatric surgery patients of the availability of this program for them as well."
Mr Stephen Wilkinson
Bariatric Surgeon and Medical Director
of the Tasmanian Antiobesity Surgery Centre
Obesity & your health
If you are obese, severely obese, or morbidly obese, you are at risk for major health risks including:
Shorter life expectancy
50% to 100% increased risk of dying prematurely compared to people of normal weight
Diabetes (Type 2)
Joint problems (eg. arthritis)
High blood pressure
Certain types of cancer (eg. breast, uterine, colon)
Digestive disorders (eg. gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GORD)
Breathing difficulties (eg. sleep apnea, asthma)
Psychological problems such as depression
Problems with fertility and pregnancy
Obesity & your wellbeing
Further effects of obesity on your quality of life and social and mental wellbeing include:
Everyday tasks become challenging and movement is more difficult
You tire and become short of breath easier
Seating on public transportation, and in public services may be too small for you
You may find it difficult to maintain your own personal hygiene
These factors unfortunately often result in a negative self-image, social isolation, humiliation and discrimination.