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Adults

In 2007–2008, 62% of the Australian adult population were either overweight or obese. While there are more overweight males than females, the prevalence of obesity between the sexes is similar.

BMI for adults aged 15 years and over, 2007–08

BMI for adults aged 15+ years 2007-08

Note: Excludes New South Wales and Victoria who did not participate in the 2010 Census.

Source: AIHW analysis of the 2007–08 National Health Survey (NHS).

There are no recent trend data for BMI using measured height and weight. However, self-reported data are available for recent years. These data show that the rate of overweight and obesity among Australian adults is rising.

Prevalence of overweight and obesity by NHS year

Prevalence of overweight by NHS year

Notes:
1. Results are age standardised to the 2007–08 survey population.
2. Based on self-reported height and weight.

Source: AIHW analysis of the NHS series.

Risk from overweight and obesity

Risk can be determined by measuring waist circumference. Based on the 2007–08 NHS, more females are at substantially increased risk of developing chronic diseases than males.

Risk of developing chronic disease based on waist circumference, adults aged 15 and above, 2007–08

Risk of chronic disease by waist circumference group

Notes:
Not at risk: waist circumference less than 80cm for females and 94cm for males.
Increased risk: waist circumference more than or equal to 80cm for females and 94cm for males.
Substantially increased risk: waist circumference more than or equal to 88cm for females and 102cm for males.

Source: AIHW analysis of the 2007–08 NHS.

Children

For Australian children aged 5–17 years, the proportion of overweight and obese children increases as the age group increases.

Children who are overweight and obese, by age group, Australia, 2007–08

Children who are overweight by age group

Note: Based on measured height and weight.

Source: AIHW analysis of the 2007–08 NHS.

People living in regional and remote areas

There is a higher proportion of Australian adults living in outer regional and remote areas who are obese compared with major cities and inner regional areas.

Adults 15 years and above who are obese, by region, 2007–08

Overweight by region

Notes:
1. Results are age standardised to the 2007-08 survey population.
2. Based on measured height and weight.

Source: AIHW analysis of the 2007–08 NHS.

Socio-economic status

The prevalence of obese adults aged 15 and above is highest in the 1st quintile, which is the most disadvantage category in the SEIFA Index of Relative Disadvantage. There is a lower prevaleance of females who are obese, across all quintiles, when compared the

Adults 15 years and above who are obese, by socio-economic status, 2007–08

By socio-economic status

Notes:
1. Socio-economic status is based on the ABS SEIFA Index of Relative Disadvantage.
2. 1st quintile: most disadvantaged, 5th quintile: least disadvantaged. 3. Results are age standardised to the 2007-08 survey population.
4. Based on measured height and weight.

Source: AIHW analysis of the 2007–08 NHS.


Source tables

Men

BMI of males aged 15 years and above, 2007-08 (per cent)
Age group Underweight Normal Overweight Obese
15-24  4.2 58.3 24.8 12.7
25-34  2.2 35.9 42.5 19.5
35-44  0.8 28.5 44.2 26.6
45-54  0.4 22.8 47.0 29.7
55-64  0.1 25.0 40.0 34.9
65-74  0.4 20.7 44.9 34.0
75 +  1.0 24.7 52.8 21.5
Total 1.4 32.6 41.0 25.0

Note: Based on measured height and weight. Excludes New South Wales and Victoria who did not participate in the 2010 Census.

Source: AIHW analysis of the 2007-08 NHS.

Women

BMI of females aged 15 years and above, 2007-08 (per cent)
Age group Underweight Normal Overweight Obese
15-24  7.3 59.3 21.0 12.4
25-34  3.4 52.2 26.4 18.0
35-44  1.9 43.0 32.4 22.7
45-54  1.7 39.6 32.5 26.3
55-64  1.2 30.9 34.7 33.2
65-74  1.3 27.4 42.0 29.4
75 +  2.5 40.6 32.6 24.3
Total 2.9 43.5 30.6 22.9

Note: Based on measured height and weight. Excludes New South Wales and Victoria who did not participate in the 2010 Census.

Source: AIHW analysis of the 2007-08 NHS.

Adults

BMI of persons aged 15 years and above, 2007-08 (per cent)
Age group Underweight Normal Overweight Obese
15-24  5.7 58.8 22.9 12.6
25-34  2.7 43.7 34.8 18.8
35-44  1.3 35.8 38.2 24.6
45-54  1.0 31.1 39.8 28.0
55-64  0.6 27.9 37.4 34.1
65-74  0.8 24.1 43.5 31.6
75 +  1.8 33.4 41.8 23.0
Total 2.2 38.0 35.8 24.0

Note: Based on measured height and weight. Excludes New South Wales and Victoria who did not participate in the 2010 Census.

Source: AIHW analysis of the 2007-08 NHS.

Children

Children who are overweight or obese, by age group, 2007-08 (per cent)
Males Females
5–9 10–14 15–17 5–9 10–14 15–17
Overweight 14.5 17.8 16.2 14.6 19.7 22.0
Obese 6.4 8.6 15.1 7.0 3.3 7.4
Total 20.9 26.4 31.3 21.6 23.0 29.4

Note: Based on measured height and weight.

Source: AIHW analysis of the 2007-08 NHS.

By region

Adults aged 15 years and over who are obese, by region and age group, 2007-08 (per cent)
Sex Age group Major cities Inner regional Outer regional / Remote
Males 15-24  7.3 15.1 11.4
25-34  14.0 15.7 18.5
35-44  16.7 22.4 26.8
45-54  19.2 21.7 31.7
55-64  25.1 24.6 31.5
65-74  22.9 27.4 28.4
75+ 13.0 12.2 35.7
Total 16.5 19.9 24.9
Females 15-24  7.3 11.4 15.6
25-34  10.3 18.1 18.0
35-44  15.9 21.7 25.7
45-54  19.3 20.9 16.4
55-64  15.8 18.5 23.5
65-74  22.5 27.1 18.8
75+ 15.6 18.4 13.7
Total 14.6 18.8 19.4
Persons 15-24 7.3 13.2 13.4
25-34 12.1 16.8 18.2
35-44 15.4 21.3 23.3
45-54 18.6 18.5 26.4
55-64 23.0 26.3 29.7
65-74 21.5 25.4 23.7
75 + 14.5 15.8 25.1
Total 15.5 19.3 22.3

Note: Based on measured height and weight.

Source: AIHW analysis of the 2007-08 NHS.

By socio-economic status

Adults aged 15 years and over who are obese, by region and age group, 2007-08 (per cent)
Sex Age group 1st quintile  2nd quintile 3rd quintile 4th quintile 5th quintile
Males 15-24  17.2 9.3 6.2 7.1 7.1
25-34  21.7 16.7 14.1 8.4 13.7
35-44  23.6 18.1 18.7 15.9 19.0
45-54  26.8 20.2 17.5 29.3 15.4
55-64  36.8 27.2 25.0 17.6 24.6
65-74  27.3 28.8 24.6 25.5 18.3
75 + 14.6 19.5 23.0 11.7 7.0
Total 24.4 19.2 17.3 16.1 15.2
Females 15-24  18.9 8.4 11.2 5.4 2.7
25-34  14.4 19.6 11.0 10.8 7.3
35-44  24.8 24.2 11.3 11.8 10.7
45-54  22.6 17.1 18.0 18.4 13.6
55-64  25.2 26.7 28.1 21.1 16.0
65-74  27.3 16.2 18.3 22.9 20.1
75 + 12.2 18.5 22.2 19.2 10.6
Total 21.2 18.8 16.1 14.5 10.7
Persons 15-24  18.1 8.8 8.8 6.3 4.8
25-34  18.0 18.1 12.5 9.6 10.5
35-44  24.2 21.2 15.1 13.8 14.7
45-54  24.6 18.5 17.7 23.6 14.6
55-64  30.7 26.9 26.5 19.3 20.3
65-74  27.3 22.6 21.2 24.2 19.1
75 + 13.1 18.9 22.5 15.6 9.0
Total 22.7 18.9 16.7 15.3 13.0

Notes:
1. Based on measured height and weight.
2. 1st quintile: most disadvantaged. 5th quintile: least disadvantaged.
3. Results are age-standardised to the 2007-08 survey population.
4. Based on measured height and weight.

Source: AIHW analysis of the 2007-08 NHS.

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