Table of contents

Summary

1 Introduction

  • Why is it important to monitor overweight and obesity in children and adolescents?
  • How is overweight and obesity measured?
  • Purpose of this report
  • Structure of this report

2 Who is affected and how has this changed over time?

  • How common is overweight and obesity among children and adolescents?
    • How does overweight and obesity vary by age and sex?
    • Overweight and obesity is most common among children and adolescents who live in Inner regional areas
    • Children and adolescents living in disadvantaged areas are more likely to be overweight or obese
    • How common is overweight and obesity among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and adolescents?
    • Disability is associated with higher rates of overweight and obesity
  • How have rates of overweight and obesity changed over time?
    • What patterns are seen when the same children and adolescents are followed over time?
    • What proportion of children and adolescents change weight categories over time?
    • Are today’s children, adolescents and young people more likely to be overweight or obese than people at the same age in previous years?

3 What are the causes of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents?

  • Poor diets are a major contributor to overweight and obesity
    • Do Australian children and adolescents meet the Australian Dietary Guidelines?
    • Sugar-sweetened drinks are especially popular among teenage boys
  • Physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour increase the risk of overweight and obesity
    • Do children and adolescents meet the guidelines for physical activity and sedentary behaviour?
  • Many other factors contribute to overweight and obesity
    • Individual factors
    • Family influences
    • Community influences
    • Societal influences

4 What are the impacts of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents?

  • Overweight and obesity contributes to poorer physical health
  • Psychological health and wellbeing are negatively affected
    • Children and adolescents may be subject to weight stigma, discrimination and bullying
    • Quality of life and mental health can be negatively impacted by overweight and obesity
  • Obesity is linked to poorer educational outcomes
  • There are substantial economic impacts of overweight and obesity

5 Reducing overweight and obesity in children and adolescents

  • What can be done to help individuals?
  • What can be done to help the population?
    • What is being done around the world?
    • What is Australia doing?

Appendix A: Defining and measuring overweight and obesity

  • Measuring overweight and obesity in children and adolescents

Appendix B: Data sources and methods

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics surveys
    • Data sources
    • Methods
  • Longitudinal Study of Australian Children
    • Data sources
    • Methods
  • Sampling error
    • Relative standard error, margin of error and confidence intervals
    • Significance testing

Acknowledgments

Abbreviations

Glossary

References

List of tables

List of figures

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