Being overweight or obese are risk factors for many diseases, including coronary heart disease.
The body mass index is used to ascertain whether individuals are overweight or obese, and involves dividing weight (kg) by the square of height (m2).
The National Health and Medical Research Council recommends the following groupings:
BODY MASS INDEX, Groupings
|Body mass index|
|Underweight||Less than 18.5|
|Normal weight||18.5 to less than 20.0|
|20.0 to less than 25.0|
|Overweight||25.0 to 30.0|
|Obese||Greater than 30.0|
Source: ABS National Health Survey 2001: Summary Results (cat. no. 4364.0).
In 2001, 40.5% of Tasmanian males and 20.9% of Tasmanian females aged 18 years and over were overweight and 13.6% and 15.6%, respectively, were obese. Only 38.1% of Tasmania's population aged 18 years and over are actually classified as normal according to their score on the body mass index.