Overweight and obesity statistics

Overweight

In 2014/15, six million Australians aged 18 and over were overweight (BMI of 25.0kg/m2 to 29.9kg/m2). This accounts for more than a third (36%) of adult Australians. More than 3.5 million Australian men were overweight, or 42% of all males aged 18 and over.

Just over 2.5 million Australian women were overweight, or approximately 29% of all females aged 18 and over.

% Overweight by age and gender
 

Age group

Male

Female

Total

18–24

26.9%

17.0%

22.0%

25–34

41.9%

25.1%

33.4%

35–44

47.5%

27.6%

37.4%

45–54

46.7%

28.6%

37.6%

55–64

44.5%

33.3%

38.8%

65–74

42.2%

36.1%

38.9%

75–84

44.0%

41.4%

43.4%

85+

47.3%

35.0%

38.8%

Total

42.4%

28.8%

35.5%

 

Change in overweight status over time

Compared to 1995, the proportion of Australians that were overweight in 2015 has fallen by 6%.

% Overweight by time period
 
 

1995

2007/08

2011/12

2014/15

Overweight (total)

37.6%

36.6%

35.3%

35.5%

Overweight (males)

45.2%

42.1%

42.2%

42.4%

Overweight (females)

29.9%

30.9%

28.2%

28.8%

 

Obesity

In 2014/15, more than one in four adult Australians were obese. This represents almost five million Australians aged 18 and over (BMI of 30.0kg/m2 or more). More than two million Australian men were obese, or approximately 28% of all males aged 18 and over. Close to 2.5 million Australian women were obese, or approximately 27% of all females aged 18 and over.

% Obesity by age and gender
 

Age group

Male

Female

Total

18–24

17.3%

17.3%

17.1%

25-34

20.8%

17.3%

19.0%

35–44

26.7%

30.7%

28.6%

45–54

33.2%

33.0%

33.0%

55–64

36.8%

34.9%

35.9%

65–74

38.2%

32.7%

35.4%

75–84

32.4%

27.1%

29.6%

85+

11.2%

21.5%

17.8%

Total

28.4%

27.4%

27.9%

 

Change in obesity status over time

Compared to 1995, the proportion of Australians that are obese in 2015 has increased by 49%.

% Obesity by time period
 
 

1995

2007/08

2011/12

2014/15

Obesity (total)

18.7%

24.8%

27.5%

27.9%

Obesity (males)

18.6%

25.6%

27.5%

28.4%

Obesity (females)

18.9%

24.0%

27.5%

27.4%

 

Socio-demographic status

In 2014/15, Australians living in regional/remote locations and those in the highest disadvantaged group were significantly more likely to be overweight/obese.

Having English as the main language spoken at home and being employed also significantly increased the likelihood of being overweight/obese.

% Overweight/obese by socio-demographic status
 
 
 

Overweight/obese

Country of birth

Australia
Born overseas

64.7%
60.6%

Main language spoken at home

English
Language other than English

64.5%
55.6%

Labour force

Employed
Unemployed

62.1%
56.2%

Index of disadvantage

Highest disadvantaged
Lowest disadvantaged

66.4%
58.0%

Remoteness

Major cities
Regional and remote

61.1%
69.2%

 

Location

In 2014/15, the prevalence of overweight/obesity in adult Australians was lowest in New South Wales and Victoria. Prevalence of overweight/obesity was highest in Tasmania.

% Overweight/obese by state/territory
 

State/territory

%

South Australia

65.8%

Western Australia

60.3%

Queensland

63.6%

Tasmania

67.5%

Australian Capital Territory

63.5%

Northern Territory

64.3%

New South Wales

63.2%

Victoria

63.3%

 

References

  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Health Survey 2014/15 (4364.0)

 

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