Good & Bad News in Aussie Health Check-Up
30 October 2012 at 9:46 am
Smoking and drinking rates in Australia have fallen but the ABS says obesity continues to rise.
Results from the Australian Health Survey show smoking and drinking rates continue to fall, but the number of people who are overweight and obese continues to rise.
An Australian Bureau of Statistics statistician Dr Paul Jelfs, said the 2011-12 Australian Health Survey was the largest check-up on the nation's health ever undertaken.
"Compared to four years ago the proportion of overweight adult Australians has increased by more than two percentage points, meaning that nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of the population are now classified as overweight or obese," Dr Jelfs said.
"Men were more likely to be overweight or obese (70%) than women (56%) while one-quarter (25%) of our children are overweight or obese."
He added that while Australians are not winning the battle of the bulge, the good news is they are smoking and drinking less.
"Smoking rates are down across all age groups, particularly for people aged under 45," he said.
"Men are still more likely to smoke than women – the rate is about one in five men compared to one in seven women.
"Just over 16 percent of adult Australians smoke daily, a fall of nearly three percentage points over the last four years.
"On a state basis, there were more smokers in the Northern Territory (23.9%) and Tasmania (21.8%) and the fewest in the Australian Capital Territory (13.4%).
"Australians are also drinking less, with a drop of 1.4 percentage points in the number of people drinking more than two standard drinks on average per day," Dr Jelfs said.
Results from the Australian Health Survey are the first in a series of results that will be released progressively over the next 18 months.
Australian Health Survey: First Results, 2011-12 is available online.