The life expectancy of fat kids will have reduced by two years by the time they become 20 years old, according to a new study.
According to the research from the University of Western Australia, the obesity epidemic has reduced the life span of Aussie children by four years, and that girls are at a higher risk than boys.
Professor Mike Daube, director of the Perth-based Public Health Advocacy Institute that commissioned the research, said that it was the first Australian data to prove obesity would shorten life.
Life expectancy in Australia is about 80 for men, and 84 for women.
The report shows overweight people—those with a body mass index (BMI) between 25 and 30—have six months less than average expectancy.
Those who are obese, with a BMI over 30, will live for between 3.5 and 4.5 fewer years.
Prof Daube said that the estimates were "very conservative" and dramatic, given lives were being shortened at a time when life expectancy was otherwise increasing for healthy Australians.
"For the first time in our living memory, life expectancy for Australian kids is falling because of the obesity epidemic and it's becoming a national catastrophe," News.com.au quoted Daube as saying.
"This should really send out the alarm bells that we need to make a serious change for the better in the realm of obesity," he added.