Monday, April 19, 2010

Australia's Health Check - Obesity remains a concern

The National Health Survey: Summary of Results; Australia 2007- 08 (Reissue) (cat.no 4364.0) provides a general snapshot of the health of Australians every three years.

Information is collected about long-term medical conditions, lifestyle factors, consultations with health professionals and other actions such as medication use. Some of the key health risk factors are obesity, alcohol consumption and smoking.

Overweight and Obesity
More adult Australians were overweight or obese in 2007-08 compared with 1995. Using the Body Mass Index (BMI) approach, the ABS found that 68% of adult men and 55% of adult women were overweight or obese in 2007-08. This is an increase over 12 years as only 64% of men and 49% of women were overweight or obese in 1995.

Alcohol consumption
Approximately 68% of men and 51% of women consumed alcohol in the week prior to the 2007-08 National Health Survey. Most of these adults (79%) consumed alcohol at a level that poses a low health risk.

Smoking
One in five adults (20%) were current smokers in 2007-08 which was down from 23% in 2004-05. More men than women were current smokers (22% and 18% respectively).

Further details are in National Health Survey: Summary of Results; Australia 2007- 08 (Reissue) (cat. no 4364.0).

Results for states and the ACT are available in National Health Survey: Summary of Results; State tables, 2007-08 (Reissue) (cat. no 4362.0).