4364.0.55.001 - Australian Health Survey: First Results, 2011-12  
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Contents >> Health risk factors >> Overweight and obesity


OVERWEIGHT AND OBESITY

Being overweight or obese increases a person's risk of developing cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and/or Type 2 diabetes. Body Mass Index (BMI) is a common measure for defining whether a person is underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese.

In the Australian Health Survey, measured height and weight were collected to determine a person's Body Mass Index. BMI based on measured height and weight is considered to be more accurate than self-reported height and weight. See the Glossary for cut-offs for BMI.

In 2011-12, 63.4% of Australians aged 18 years and over were overweight or obese, comprised of 35.0% overweight and 28.3% obese. A further 35.2% were of normal weight and 1.5% were underweight.

The prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased in Australia over time, from 61.2% in 2007–08 and 56.3% in 1995.


Graph Image for Proportion of persons 18 years and over who were overweight or obese(a), 1995 to 2011-12

Footnote(s): (a) Based on Body Mass Index for persons whose height and weight was measured.

Source(s): Australian Health Survey: First Results




In 2011-12, more men were overweight or obese than women (70.3% compared with 56.2%). Rates for both men and women have increased since 2007–08 (67.7% for men and 54.7% for women).

Overweight and obesity varies with age, with 74.7% of adults aged 65-74 years being overweight or obese, compared with 38.4% of persons aged 18-24 years.


Graph Image for Proportion of persons who were overweight or obese(a), 2011-12

Footnote(s): (a) Based on Body Mass Index for persons whose height and weight was measured.

Source(s): Australian Health Survey: First Results




Note that BMI was only calculated for persons for whom height and weight was measured. In 2011-12, 16.3% of persons aged 18 years and over did not have their height, weight or both measured.

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