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Age and sex
Rates of overweight and obesity were highest for both men and women aged 65-74 years, at 79% and 71%, respectively. Only one in five men (21%) and 29% of women in this age group were underweight or normal weight.
While overweight and obesity is most prevalent in middle to late adulthood, Australia’s escalating obesity epidemic is evident in the large numbers of younger people that are now overweight or obese. For example, almost half of adults under the age of 35 were overweight or obese. Eating a healthy diet and physical activity are important not only for preventing weight gain, but also for weight loss and subsequent weight management, and these behaviours were absent in many younger people. Only 4% of adults under the age of 35 met recommended daily fruit and vegetable consumption guidelines and over two-thirds (69%) were sedentary or exercised at low levels.