Footnote(s): (a) Based on measured BMI (see Health glossary). Excludes those for whom body measurements were not taken.
Source(s): ABS data available on request, 1995 and 2007-08 National Health Survey
Obesity may have significant health, social and economic impacts and is closely related to lack of exercise and to diet. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of suffering from a range of conditions, including coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, some cancers, knee and hip problems and sleep apnoea. In 2008, the total annual cost of obesity in Australia, including health system costs, productivity declines and carers' costs, was estimated at around $58 billion (Access Economics 2008).
The proportion of adults (aged 18 years or over) classified as obese or overweight has increased from 56% in 1995 to 61% in 2007-08. For men, the increase was from 64% to 68% in 2007-08, while for women, the proportion rose from 49% to 55%.
In 2007-08, one quarter of Australian children (or around 600,000 children aged 5-17 years) were overweight or obese, up four percentage points from 1995. In relation to obesity only, the rate for children (aged 5-17 years) increased from 5.2% in 1995 to 7.5% in 2007-08. Studies have shown that once children become obese they are more likely to stay obese into adulthood and have an increased risk of developing diseases associated with obesity (AIHW 2004).
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