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4364.0.55.001 - Australian Health Survey: First Results, 2011-12  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/10/2012  First Issue
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Contents >> Physical measurements >> Waist circumference



WAIST CIRCUMFERENCE

Waist circumference is widely accepted as an indicator of potential risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. According to National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines, a waist measurement of 94 cm or more (for men) or 80 cm or more (for women) is an indicator of increased risk.

In 2011-12, 60.3% of men aged 18 years and over had a waist circumference that put them at an increased risk of developing chronic diseases, while 66.6% of women had an increased level of risk. Between 2007-08 and 2011-12 there was a significant increase in the proportion of men and women with a waist circumference that put them at increased level of risk.

These increases correspond with the increasing trend in the proportion of Australians who are overweight or obese as measured using Body Mass Index. See Overweight and Obesity.

On average, men aged 18 years and over had a waist measurement of 97.9 cm, while women had a waist measurement of 87.7 cm. Between 2007-08 and 2011-12, average waist measurements increased by 1.7 cm for men and 1.9 cm for women.

The proportion of men and women with a waist circumference that put them at risk of developing chronic diseases generally increased with age.


Graph Image for Proportion of males with increased risk waist measurement(a), 2007-08 and 2011-12

Footnote(s): (a) A waist measurement of 94cm or more.

Source(s): Australian Health Survey: First Results



Graph Image for Proportion of females with increased risk waist measurement(a), 2007-08 and 2011-12

Footnote(s): (a) A waist measurement of 80cm or more.

Source(s): Australian Health Survey: First Results




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