1003.0 - ABS News for Libraries, Nov 2007  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/12/2007   
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Australian School Library Association Biennial Conference, Adelaide, 2 - 5th October 2007

The Australian Bureau of Statistics ran a trade stand at the Biennial Australian School Library Association Conference in Adelaide in October 2007. The conference was attended by nearly 500 Teacher Librarians from government and private schools across Australia, with some delegates attending from overseas. Over 250 delegates attended the ABS stand, and they were very keen to see the new 2006 Census Products on the ABS Website. The ABS was also promoting the Census@Schools 2008 project, and over 25 schools registered to be contacted by ABS to find out more about this school based project to develop statistical literacy skills in primary and secondary students.

The ABS Stand had some great give-aways, including 2006 Census Pens, Ruler/Calculators, Tape Measures and Carry Bags which were keenly sought after by delegates. There were none left on the last day of the conference!

Pam Balfour, ISP Manager, SA, Kate Hoffmann, Census Liaison, SA and Heather Burns, ISP Manager, Victoria ran the ABS Stand, and enjoyed talking to many teacher-librarians about how they thought their schools could use ABS data in their curriculum.

ABS visits Batchelor Institute for Indigenous Tertiary Education in NT

In September Pia Loffley from the NT Office of the ABS delivered a session on navigating the ABS website and accessing 2006 Census data to Library & academic staff at the Batchelor Institute for Indigenous Tertiary Education. The Batchelor Institute Library featured the ABS website and information in it's September Newsletter.

Fig 2: From left - Kylie Johnstone (ABS, NCATSIS), centre, Batchelor Institute Staff - Dr Sharon Chirgwin (Academic & Research Division), Graeme Cheater (Librarian), Lynne Shirley (Library Technician), right - Pia Loffley (ABS, Info. Consultant & ISP Coordinator)

Health Hot Spot: Obesity

One of the most popular searches on the ABS website is for information relating to obesity, including childhood obesity. This quick guide outlines where to find Australian obesity data.

7.4 million people aged 18 years and over (54% of the adult population) were classifed as overweight or obese in 2005.
This is an increase from 5.4 million adults (45%) of the adult population) in 1995.
In November 2007 the OECD ranked Australia as having the fifth highest adult obesity rate across its 30 member countries.

Where will I find obesity data?
The key ABS data source is:
National Health Survey: Summary of Results, 2004-05 (cat. no. 4364.0) see pp. 11-12, Tables 25 - 28.
In this survey overweight and obesity are assessed using body mass index (BMI), calculated from self-reported height and weight information.

For an overview of obesity data:
Article: Overweight and Obesity in Australian Social Trends, 2007 (cat. no. 4102.0).
Changes in Health: a Snapshot, 2004-05 (cat. no. 4834.0.55.001) - health risk factors section contains summary data on overweight/obesity.

Additional data can be found in: Australia's Health, 2006 published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
- see section on Body Weight pp.182-187; children and obesity p.186; also includes section on dietary behaviour.

Older data is available in these publications:
How Australians Measure Up, 1995 (cat. no. 4359.0) data from the 1995 National Health Survey.
Health Risk Factors, Australia, 2001 (cat. no. 4812.) data from the 2001 National Health Survey.
National Nutrition Survey: Nutrient Intakes and Physical Measurements, Australia, 1995 (cat. no. 4805.0).

Related data:
Physical Activity in Australia: a Snapshot, 2004-05 (cat. no. 4835.0.55.001) - overview of data from NHS.
Participation in Sports and Physical Recreation, Australia, 2005-06 (cat. no. 4177.0).
Exercise data in National Health Survey: Summary of Results, 2004-05 (cat. no. 4364.0) pp. 10-11, Tables 23 & 24.
Dietary behaviours data in National Health Survey: Summary of Results, 2004-05 (cat. no. 4364.0) pp.12, Table 29.

Childhood obesity
There is currently not a great deal of data available relating to childhood obesity.
There is some data for ages 15-17 years included in Changes in Health: a Snapshot, 2004-05 (cat. no. 4834.0.55.001).

Summary data from the NSW Schools Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey (SPANS) 2004 is included in the articles Health of Children: a Snapshot, 2004-05 (cat. no. 4829.0.55.001) & Overweight and Obesity in Australian Social Trends, 2007 (cat. no. 4102.0).

Older data is available in:
National Nutrition Survey, 2005 (cat. no. 4805.0) Tables 92-93 contains data on children's body measurements, as does: Children, Australia: A Social Report, 1999 (cat. no. 4119.0) Table 5.29.
Further analysis of National Nutrition Survey data can be found in: Profile of the nutritional status of children and adolescents (AIHW, 2007).
A new (non-ABS) survey of children's nutrition, activity patterns (including height/weight/waist measurements) is currently underway with the Kids Eat, Kids Play survey.

Related data
Children's Participation in Culture and Leisure Activities, 2006 (cat. no. 4901.0) - includes data such as time spent playing sport and watching television.

Obesity and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
The key publication for data regarding indigenous Australians and obesity is:
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey, 2004-05
(cat. no. 4715.0) - see section on body mass pp. 12-13, Table 21; dietary behaviour Tables 22 & 23.
Further analysis of this data can be found in: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health performance framework, 2006 (AIHW): chapter
2.24 Prevalence of overweight and obesity among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults and children (AIHW, PDF 117Kb).

Other data sources
Department of Health and Ageing Healthy Weight: evidence base on overweight and obesity - lists data resource links
International comparisons: Health at a Glance 2007 - OECD Indicators (AHIW)
World Health Organisation: Global Database on Body Mass Index