One in Four Australians Are Obese

Being overweight or obese increases a person’s risk of developing long-term health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes, while being underweight can also be a health risk factor for some people.

The consequences of this level of overweight and obesity are increased risks of chronic health conditions, increased health service use and increased mortality.

(Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics)

Statistics for the 2020-21 census have not yet been released, it is not anticipated that these figures will have improved.

According to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2017-18,

67% of adults were overweight or obese, an increase from 63% in 2014-15.

A greater proportion of men were overweight or obese than women (75% compared with 60%).

25% of children were overweight or obese

This change was driven by the increase in the proportion of adults categorised as obese, which increased from 27.9% to 31.3%

There was a large increase for those aged 18-24 years, with 38.9% overweight or obese in 2014-15 compared with 46.0% in 2017-18.

In 2017-18, a greater proportion of men aged 18 years and over were overweight or obese than women (74.5% and 59.7% respectively).

Almost one quarter (24.9%) of children aged 5-17 years were overweight or obese in 2017-18 (17% overweight and 8.1% obese). The rates were similar for boys and girls and this has remained stable over the previous ten years.

Rates of obesity were related to several environmental and socio-economic conditions: adults aged 18 years and over living in Inner Regional, and Outer Regional and Remote Australia were more likely to be overweight or obese than those living in Major Cities (72.4% and 72.2% compared with 65.0% respectively)