HEALTH RISK FACTORS
A range of genetic, social, economic and environmental factors are recognised as increasing the risk of developing a particular health condition. Specific lifestyle and related factors which have been identified as negatively impacting health include:
- being overweight or obese
- smoking and excessive alcohol consumption
- poor diet and nutrition
- lack of physical activity.
Health risk factor topics included in the 2011-12 NHS and NNPAS were:
- tobacco smoking
- physical activity (15 years and over for NHS and 18 years and over for NNPAS)
- body mass and physical measurements (e.g. height, weight and waist circumference)
- dietary behaviours
- blood pressure.
Health risk factor topics specific to the 2011-12 NHS were:
- sedentary behaviour
- alcohol consumption
- family stressors.
Health risk factor topics specific to the 2011-12 NNPAS were:
- physical activity (2-4 years and 5-17 years)
- sedentary behaviour (2-17 years and 18 years and over)
- household rules and screen-based equipment
- pedometer steps
- 24 hour dietary recall (Nutrition)
- food security.
Most of the specific risk factors covered have been addressed in previous ABS Health Surveys, either at national or State/Territory levels. Major changes in the coverage of risk factors between the 2011-12 NHS and the 2007-08 NHS are summarised in the table below.
MEASUREMENT IN 2011-12 NHS AND 2007-08 NHS
|Topic ||Measurement |
|Smoking ||Directly comparable |
|Alcohol consumption ||Similar, with additional questions in 2011-12 added for the 2009 NHMRC guidelines |
|Exercise||Similar, but 2011-12 only asks questions about the last week|
|Height, weight, waist circumference and BMI ||Directly comparable |
|Dietary indicators (Consumption of milk, fruit, vegetables and salt) ||Similar, with additional questions in 2011-12 regarding salt use |
| Family stressors|| Directly comparable (known as Personal stressors in 2007-08)|
|Blood pressure ||Not collected in 2007-08 |
Where appropriate to the survey vehicle and consistent with the data requirements of users, similar methodologies were employed in the 2011-12 surveys to those used in previous surveys to enhance comparability and enable use of the data for analysing changes over time. Comments regarding comparability between the 2011-12 NHS and NNPAS and 2007-08 NHS are contained in the individual topic descriptions which follow.