4724.0.55.004 - Health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Females, 2004-05  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/12/2009  First Issue
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The Body Mass Index (or BMI) is a tool used to measure weight relative to height. The weight and height of a person is calculated to produce a score that can then be categorised as one of four types; underweight, normal, overweight or obese.

Obesity increases the risk of developing a range of health problems including Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis and certain cancers.

Graph shows the BMI score of Indigenous females aged15 years and over, for 2004–05

Among the 15 to 24 year age group, more than half (53%) of Indigenous females were in the normal body range, and 19% were overweight. Almost one in eight (13%) of females in this age group were underweight. Nearly one quarter (24%) of Indigenous females aged 55 years and over had a normal body size, two in five (43%) were obese. This age group contained the greatest portion of obese Indigenous females compared to other ages.

Indigenous females living in major cities and regional areas (non-remote) were more likely to have a healthy BMI (normal) than females living in more remote areas (40% compared to 34%).

After adjusting for age differences between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous population, Indigenous females were twice as likely to be classified as obese.