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Health risk factors are attributes, characteristics or exposures that increase the likelihood of a person developing a disease or health disorder. Behavioural risk factors are those that individuals have the most ability to modify. Biomedical risk factors are bodily states that are often influenced by behavioural risk factors.

Information is presented below on the prevalence of selected behavioural and biomedical risk factors for Australians aged 18 and over. This is based on self-reported data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2014–15 National Health Survey or measured data from the ABS 2011–12 Australian Health Survey.

Behavioural risk factors

Tobacco smoking(1)

Almost 1 in 7 Australian adults (15%) smoked daily in 2014–15—down from 16% in 2011–12.

Excessive alcohol consumption(1)

1 in 6 Australian adults (17%) consumed more than 2 standard drinks per day in 2014–15—a decrease from 20% in 2011–12.

Inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption(1)

1 in 2 Australian adults (50%) had inadequate fruit consumption in 2014–15—slight improvement from 52% in 2011–12.

Over 9 in 10 Australian adults (93%) had inadequate vegetable consumption in 2014–15—little change in the rate since 2011–12 (93%).

Insufficient physical activity(1)

Over 1 in 2 Australian adults (54%) were not sufficiently active in 2014–15—down from 56% in 2011–12.

  1. Based on self-reported data.

Biomedical risk factors

Overweight or obesity(2)

Almost 2 in 3 Australian adults (63%) were overweight or obese in 2014–15, similar to 2011–12.

High blood pressure(2)

Over 1 in 3 Australian adults (34%) had high blood pressure in 2014–15—a slight rise from 32% in 2011–12.

Abnormal blood lipids (dyslipidaemia)(2)

Almost 2 in 3 Australian adults (63%) had dyslipidaemia in 2011–12.

Impaired fasting glucose(2)

3.1% of Australian adults had impaired fasting glucose in 2011–12.

  1. Based on measured data.