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Obesity is emerging as a health epidemic around the world. Obesity is a serious, chronic disease, defined as an excessively high amount of body fat in relation to lean body mass, which has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health and life expectancy.
Obesity is rapidly spreading across all regions and demographic groups. In 2008, more that 25% of Australia's population were classified as obese.
Obesity is associated with many diseases and has many causes. It is one of the leading causes of preventable death worldwide and now viewed as one of the most serious public health problems of the 21st century.
Body mass index (BMI) is a simple index of weight-for-height that is commonly used in classifying overweight and obesity in adult populations and individuals. It is defined as the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters (kg/m2).
A BMI over 30 is classified as obese.