Facts & Figures

Obesity in Australia
Obesity in Australia

Australia is today ranked as one of the fattest nations in the developed world. The prevalence of obesity in Australia has more than doubled in the past 20 years.

Here is a round up of Australian obesity facts & figures. Of great concern is the health consequence to Indigenous Australians, who are today twice as likely as non-Indigenous Australians to be obese and are ranked the fourth-highest population in the world that is likely to suffer from type-2 diabetes.

Obesity in Australia

  • Fourteen million Australians are overweight or obese.
  • More than five million Australians are obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 ). READ MORE
  • If weight gain continues at current levels, by 2025, close to 80% of all Australian adults and a third of all children will be overweight or obese. READ MORE
  • Obesity has overtaken smoking as the leading cause of premature death and illness in Australia. READ MORE
  • Obesity has become the single biggest threat to public health in Australia.
  • On the basis of present trends we can predict that by the time they reach the age of 20 our kids will have a shorter life expectancy than earlier generations simply because of obesity.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are 1.9 times as likely as non-indigenous Australians to be obese.

Secondary Complications

  • More than 900,000 Australians suffer from diabetes. READ MORE
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians have the fourth highest rate of Type 2 diabetes (non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, or NIDDM) in the world and are 1.9 times as likely as non-indigenous Australians to be obese.
  • Australians reporting heart, stroke and vascular diseases aged 15 years and over were much more likely to be classified as overweight or obese than those without heart stroke and vascular disease (65% compared with 51%).
  • Health disorders in children like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, hypertension and sleep apnea can be directly attributed to childhood obesity.
  • Cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes and chronic kidney disease (CKD) account for approximately quarter of the burden of disease in Australia, and just under two-thirds of all deaths. These three diseases often occur together and share risk factors, such as physical inactivity, overweight and obesity and high blood pressure.