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Number of overweight, obese increasing in Australia

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has revealed in its 2007-08 report that one-fourth of adults are obese while 37 per cent have been classified as overweight, registering a significant increase from the last health survey on body mass index conducted in 1995.

world Updated: May 11, 2009 11:35 IST

Number of overweight and obese in Australia are growing in number, a recent study has said.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has revealed in its 2007-08 report that one-fourth of adults are obese while 37 per cent have been classified as overweight, registering a significant increase from the last health survey on body mass index conducted in 1995.

There was also an increase in obesity among children, ABC reported on Monday.

Over the last 12 years the ratio of obese children has increased from 5.2 per cent to 7.8 per cent, while seventeen per cent are found overweight.

The survey, however, observed that the number of smokers among adults has decreased from 23 per cent in 2004-05 to 20 per cent this time.

For the first time the survey questioned children about smoking and found that seven per cent belonging to the age group of 15-17 smoke.

In the week before the survey was conducted, around 68 per cent of men and 51 per cent of women consumed alcohol. About 13 per cent of them had consumed alcohol at a harmful level.

Teenagers aged between 15 and 17 years were also asked about alcohol. The ABS found 24 per cent of boys and 16 per cent of girls had consumed alcohol in the week leading up to survey. Some of the youngsters drunk at a risky level.

Survey also found that nearly 80 per cent of the population has one or more long-term ailment such as eye sight problems, arthritis or asthma.

About 10 per cent of Australians reported having a long term mental illness and 2 per cent of the population has been diagnosed with some form of cancer.

About 4 per cent of Australians have diabetes. More than three-quarters of them have Type-2 while 10 per cent have Type-1.

In general though, most Australians consider themselves as healthy with more than half of the respondents declaring their overall health to be very good or excellent.