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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2009–10  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/06/2010   
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Contents >> Health >> Health risk behaviours


A range of factors influence the health outcomes of an individual or the population. These include the interaction of socio-economic, biomedical and environmental factors which contribute to illness and injury. There are also specific lifestyle behaviours which may have further impact on people's health, increasing the risk of chronic disease.

The 2007-08 NHS collected information on a number of lifestyle behaviours:

  • 21% of adults were current smokers.
  • 73% of adults reported sedentary or low exercise levels in the two weeks prior to interview.
  • 13% of adults consumed alcohol at levels which, if continued, would be risky or a high risk to their health in the long term.

The following information is based on the National Health and Medical Research Council's (NHMRC) Dietary Guidelines for Australians recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables at specific ages:
  • 9% of adults reported they usually consumed five or more serves of vegetables every day.
  • 51% of adults reported they usually consumed two or more serves of fruit every day.

Comparisons between the 1995 and 2007-08 National Health Surveys showed an increase in the proportion of adults who were overweight or obese. In 1995 38% of adults were overweight and 19% obese. The 2007-08 results found that 37% of adults were overweight and 25% obese. For more information on this topic see article, Children who are Overweight or Obese in this edition of Year Book Australia.
  • 61% of adults were classified as overweight or obese based on their measured height and weight.
  • 25% of children aged 5-17 were classified as overweight or obese based on their measured height and weight.

The proportion of adults currently smoking decreased from 24% to 21% between 1995 and 2007-08. There was an increase in the proportion of adults reporting sedentary or low levels of exercise from 69% to 73% and the proportion of adults drinking at risky levels (8% to 13%).

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