Low education leads to obesity

NEARLY half of Australian adults with low levels of educational attainment could be obese by 2025 whereas people with degrees will continue to have a better chance of having a healthy weight, researchers say.

Noting that socioeconomic inequality already underpins obesity rates, experts warn the health gap is only going to widen without targeted intervention.

Based on recent BMI data, researchers from Monash University and the Baker IDI estimate that the prevalence of obesity among adults with high school level education only is likely to nearly double, from 23% in 2000 to 44% in 2025.

Among adults with a tertiary degree the projected rise is from 14% to 30%.

The forecast – the first attempt to stratify Australia's obesity burden based on education status – used data from a follow-up of the landmark AusDiab study.

People with a degree qualification are less likely to move from normal weight to overweight