AIHW Board AIHW senior staff Annual report Capability statement Collaboration Customer care charter FOI - freedom of information Indexed list of files Organisation chart Presentations Privacy of data Public consultation Public Interest Disclosure Strategic Directions 2011-2014 Tenders
By category Ageing, disability & carers Families & children Hospitals Housing & homelessness Indigenous Australians Population groups Risk factors, diseases & death Services, workforce & spending
By subject Adoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases
Chronic kidney disease Chronic respiratory conditions COPD Deaths Dementia Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition Health indicators Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Injury Life expectancy
Male health Mental health Mothers & babies National health priority areas Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Data Publications Contact AIHW
Publications CatalogueOrdering publicationsForthcoming publicationsOnline reportsRate our publication effectivenessSubscribe to release notices
By subject Adoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases Chronic kidney disease
Chronic respiratory conditions Corporate publications Data linkage Data standards Deaths Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition General practice Health indicators Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Indigenous housing
Injury Life expectancy Male health Mental health services Mothers & babies National health priority areas Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Subjects Data Contact AIHW
About AIHW data METeOR—metadata online registry Data by subject Catalogue of holdings of AIHW data Customised data analysis request Data governance framework Data linking Data standards GovHack Privacy of data Accessing Australian Government health and welfare data
By subject Adoptions Aged care Alcohol and other drugs Alcohol data sources Body weight data sources Cancer Children's headline indicators (CHI) Chronic disease indicators Data sources for monitoring health conditionsDeaths Disability
Expenditure FHBH - Fixing houses for better health General practice (GP) data Height and weight data sources Hospitals Indigenous Australians International collaboration Maternity Information Matrix (MIM) Medical indemnity
Mental health National Aged Care Data Clearinghouse National core maternity indicators (NCMI) National indicator catalogue Perinatal data Risk factors statistics Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) Tobacco data sources Workforce
In other sections Subjects Publications Contact AIHW
AACR ACFADD AHSAC AIHW Board AIHW Ethics Committee AODTS NMDS WG CKDMAC CMAG CSDWG CVDMAC HEAC HHIMG
IGIHM JJ RIG MHISSC NAGATSIHID NCIAG NCSIMG NDDWG NDIMG NHISSC NIAG NIRAPIMG NMDD
NMDS NMHPSC NOPSAD NPDDC NPHEP NPHIC PCDWG PDWG PHIDG PHIG REDWG Workforce committees YIAG
Education worksheets Infographics What's in the pipeline Subscribe to education notices Other educational links
Worksheets by subject All Latest Ageing Australia's health Australia's welfare Carers
Children & youth Disability Disease Drugs
Health Health prevention Indigenous Australians Injury
In other sections Subjects Data Publications Contact AIHW
Job vacancies How to apply for a position at the AIHW Conditions of employment Benefits of working for the AIHW Temporary employment register Occupational Training Program Contact the People Unit Graduates
AIHW Access magazine Media releases Subscribe to release notices Media FAQ Media contacts
You are here:
Results from the 2011–12 Australian Bureau of Statistics Australian Health Survey show that almost two-thirds (63%) of the population aged 18 and over are overweight or obese (35% overweight, 28% obese). Only one-third (36%) of Australian adults have a healthy body weight.
The body mass index (BMI) distribution varies between men and women. The distribution for men peaks at higher values, indicating that overweight/obesity is more common in men (70%) than in women (56%).
Source: AIHW analysis of ABS 'Microdata: Australian Health Survey, Core Content—Risk Factors and Selected Health Conditions, 2011–12'.
The proportion of overweight or obese adults in the population (based on measured height and weight) has increased in recent decades. The prevalence has increased from 57% in 1995 to 61% in 2007–08 and 63% in 2011–12. This is largely driven by an increase in the level of obesity from 19% to 27% over the period, with the proportion of overweight but not obese adults remaining similar (36% to 38%).
Between 1995 and 2011–12, the relative increase in the proportion of overweight or obese adults is higher in women (12%) than men (8%). However, the gap between men and women has remained similar.
Notes: 1. Age-standardised to the 2001 Australian population.2. Overweight and obesity classification based on measured height and weight in all 3 surveys.
Source: AIHW 2012, ABS 2013.
The level of overweight and obesity in adults varies according to geographical location and is highest in Inner regional and Outer regional and remote areas. Around three quarters of men living in Inner regional (75%) and Outer regional and remote (74%) areas are overweight or obese compared with just over two thirds (68%) of men living in Major cities. For women, around two thirds of women living in Inner regional (63%) and Outer regional and remote (69%) areas are overweight or obese compared with just over half (53%) who live in Major cities.
Among women, being overweight or obese varies according to socioeconomic group. Almost two thirds (63%) of women in the lowest socioeconomic group are overweight or obese, compared with almost half (47%) of those in the highest socioeconomic group. For men, however, the proportions of overweight or obesity are similar in each socioeconomic group, ranging from 68% to 71 %
Based on data for 2011 or the closest available year on measured height and weight for people aged over 15 years, more than half (53%) of adults in Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries are overweight or obese . Australia’s rate of obesity (28% of the population aged 15 and over) is fourth highest among 34 OECD countries, behind the United States (37%), Mexico (30%) and Hungary (29%). The average rate of obesity among OECD countries is 23%. Japan and Korea have the lowest rate of obesity at 4 %.
Source: OECD 2013.
Results from the 2011-12 Australian Health Survey show that one quarter (25%) of children aged 2–17 are overweight or obese, with 18% being overweight and 7% obese. The proportion of boys who are overweight or obese is not significantly different from girls (25% compared with 26%).
Rates of overweight and obesity are similar across age groups, ranging from 23% for children aged 2–4 to 27% for adolescents aged 12–15. Boys aged 5–7 have the highest obesity rate (9%), and obesity among girls is most common at ages 5–7 and 16–17 (8%).
The proportion of children and adolescents aged 5–17 who are overweight or obese increased between 1995 and 2007–08 (21% and 25%, respectively) but has remained stable to 2011–12 (26%) .