Fewer Aussie smokers, obesity still high

Marnie Banger
(Australian Associated Press)


Fewer Australians are smoking every day but the number of people who are overweight has not dropped.

New health figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal that about one in seven adults – 14.5 per cent – smoked daily in 2014-15.

That compared to about 16 per cent in 2011-12 and nearly a quarter of adults (22.4 per cent) in 2001.

The data emerged from a national survey survey conducted by the ABS every three years, with the latest involving 19,000 people.

The trend may come as welcome news to health advocates, but the proportion of adults who are overweight or obese rose slightly.

It was up from 62.8 per cent in 2011-12 to 63.4 per cent in 2014-15, with 6.3 million adults overweight and 4.9 million considered obese.

That comes as only one in 20 Australians is eating the recommended amount of both fruit and vegetables each day.

Nearly half of adults ate enough fruit each day in 2014-15, but just seven per cent were getting enough vegetables.

When it comes to alcohol, the number of adults drinking more than two standard drinks each day on average has fallen from 19.5 per cent in 2011-12 to 17.4 per cent in 2014-15.

Whatever the data may show, the majority of Australians are under the impression they are healthy.

More than half of people aged 15 years or older rated themselves as being in excellent or very good health, while just 14.8 per cent thought their health was fair or poor.

Those assessments are similar to how Australians rated their health as far back as 2007-2008.


Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash


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