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4842.0.55.001 - Overweight and Obesity in Adults in Australia: A Snapshot, 2007–08  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/05/2011  First Issue
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Contents >> Use of health services >> Use of health services

Use of health services

Overweight and obesity place a burden on the health care system because of associated physical and psychological health problems. In the 2007-08 NHS, people were asked whether they saw a general practitioner (GP), and if so, how frequently. They were also asked if they had discussed any of the following lifestyle issues with their GP or any other health professional in the past 12 months:

  • reducing or quitting smoking;
  • drinking alcohol in moderation;
  • reaching a healthy weight;
  • increasing physical activity; and
  • eating healthy food or improving their diet.

After adjusting for age, obese adults were more likely to have had a health check-up with a GP (70%) than normal weight and overweight adults (64% and 63% respectively). Obese women were more likely to have a health check-up (77%) than obese men (64%), keeping in mind that more women than men see a GP in general(footnote 1) .

Of the adults who had a health check-up, proportionally more obese adults saw a GP at least once a month (17%) than normal weight and overweight adults (9% and 11% respectively) (Graph 7.1).

7.1 Measured Body Mass Index(a)(b), by Frequency of GP check-ups(c)


Although obese people had a greater likelihood of seeing a GP for a health check-up than people in the normal weight and overweight ranges, they were no more likely to consult other types of health professionals.

Obese men and women were more likely to discuss healthy lifestyle issues with a health professional in the last 12 months than people in the normal weight and overweight ranges. Obese women were also more likely to discuss healthy lifestyle issues with a health professional than underweight women (Graph 7.2).

7.2 Measured Body Mass Index(a)(b), by Discussed healthy lifestyle(c)


1 ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 2010. Health Services: Patient Experiences in Australia, 2009. ABS Cat No. 4839.0.55.001 Canberra ABS <back

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