Healthy Communities: Overweight and obesity rates across Australia, 2011–12 - Report - Overview

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Healthy Communities: Overweight and obesity rates across Australia, 2011–12

Overview

Overweight and obesity rates are increasing rapidly across Australia. Health problems related to excess body weight impact the health care system, as well as individuals, families and the community.

This report is the first in Australia to break down overweight and obesity rates by local areas. In comparing similar communities, the National Health Performance Authority found the percentages of obese or overweight adults ranged across local areas from 49% to 79% in 2011–12. National or state-level averages camouflage how high these rates have become in many local areas.

The report finds:

  • After excluding adults who are overweight, the percentage of adults found to be obese was as high as 41% in one local area
  • While overweight or obesity rates increased with geographic remoteness and lower socioeconomic status, half of adults (54%) in the wealthiest urban areas were overweight or obese and two in 10 (19%) were obese
  • In 12 local areas the obesity rate was 35% or higher.