4842.0.55.001 - Overweight and Obesity in Adults in Australia: A Snapshot, 2007–08  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/05/2011  First Issue
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Age and sex

In 2007-08, a higher proportion of men were overweight or obese than women (68% and 55% respectively). While men and women had fairly similar rates of obesity across all age groups, far more men (42%) than women (31%) were overweight. This result may be influenced by the fact men generally have more muscle mass than women (Graph 4.1).

4.1 Proportion of people overweight or obese(a)(b), by 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.

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