Australia is today ranked as one of the fattest nations in the developed world. The prevalence of obesity in Australia has more than doubled in the past 20 years.
Australians reporting heart, stroke and vascular diseases aged 15 years and over were much more likely to be classified as overweight or obese than those without heart stroke and vascular disease (65% compared with 51%).
Monash university website.
One in four Australians aged 18 years and over were obese in 2007-08, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Since 1995, the rate of obesity has risen from 19% to 24%, with men gaining weight faster than women.
There were just as many people overweight (37%) as there were people of normal weight (37%) in 2007-08, a slight shift from 1995 when there were more people of normal weight (41%) than there were people overweight (38%).
Rates of obesity were related to a number of environmental and socio-economic conditions:
When data on overweight and obesity are combined, the picture of increasing weight gain in Australians becomes more evident. In 2007-08, 61% of adult Australians were overweight or obese. This rate was higher for men (68%) than women (55%), and higher for older people than younger people. Three-quarters of 65-74 year olds were overweight or obese (75%) compared with 37% of 18-24 year olds.
The consequences of this level of overweight and obesity are increased risks of chronic health conditions, increased health service use and increased mortality.
More details can be found in Overweight and Obesity in Adults in Australia: A Snapshot (cat. no. 4842.0.55.001).
Source: The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).