Technical Paper 1:
Obesity in Australia: a need for urgent action
The prevalence of overweight and obesity has been increasing significantly over the last two decades. Data from the 2004–2005 National Health Survey indicate that nearly half of all Australian adults (based on self-reported height and weight) were overweight or obese in 2004–2005: around 7.4 million adults were overweight or obese (over one-third of these were obese) and close to three in every 10 Australian children and young people were overweight or obese.
The most recent measured national prevalence estimates for adults are from a survey conducted in 1999–2000 among Australians aged 25 years and over:[2, 3]
1Height and weight data may be collected in surveys as measured (by interviewers) or self-reported data. Rates of overweight and obesity based on self-reported data are likely to be underestimates of the true rates (as people tend to overestimate their height and underestimate their weight, leading to an underestimate of BMI) and should not be directly compared with rates based on measured data..