Weight Gain, Overweight, and Obesity: Determinants and Health Outcomes from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health

Curr Obes Rep. 2014 Mar;3(1):46-53. doi: 10.1007/s13679-013-0077-4.


Recent estimates suggest that 35.3 % of adult Australians are overweight and a further 27.5 % are obese. The Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health (ALSWH) is a prospective study of women's health that commenced in Australia in 1996. The study recruited approximately 40,000 women in three birth cohorts, 1973-1978, 1946-1951 and 1921-1926, who have since been followed up approximately every three years using self-report surveys. Six surveys have been completed to date. This review aims to describe the changes in weight and weight status over time in the three ALSWH cohorts, and to review and summarise the published findings to date relating to the determinants and health consequences of weight gain, overweight and obesity. Future plans for the ALSWH include on-going surveys for all cohorts, with a seventh survey in 2013-2015, and establishment of a new cohort of women born in 1990-1995, which is currently being recruited.

Keywords: Australian longitudinal study on women’s health; Body mass index; Determinants; Health outcomes; Obesity; Overweight; Weight gain.