Emerging Technology

More than half of adults are overweight and many are in denial: ABS

SmartCompany /

More than half (54%) of Australian adults are either overweight or obese, according to new analysis from the 2004-05 National Health Survey released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 

The number of overweight Australians has increased significantly in the past 15 years. In 1989-90, 38% of adults were regarded as being overweight or obese.

One thing hasn’t changed: Men were more likely to be overweight or obese than women in 2004-05, 62% of men were overweight or obese compared with 45% of women. In 1989-90, 45% of men and 32% of women were regarded as overweight or obese.

All age groups have been stacking on extra kilos, according to the new figures.

The proportion of the population who are obese is increasing at a faster rate than the proportion of the population who are overweight generally.

Between 1989-90 and 2004-05, the proportion of men who were obese more than doubled (from 9% to 19%), while the proportion of women who were obese increased from 10% to 17%.

And while we may be getter fatter, we don’t feel like it. Overweight or obese men and women are increasingly likely to see themselves as having an acceptable weight.

On an age standardised basis, the proportion of overweight or obese adults who perceived themselves as having an acceptable weight increased from 37% in 1995, to 41% in 2001, and 44% in 2004-05.


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