Overweight and obesity in Australia

7 Nov 2006

Reports of an ‘obesity epidemic’ appear with increasing frequency and rising concern in Australia. Particular attention is given to reports of the accelerating rate of obesity among Australian children. Despite this high profile of obesity as a public health issue, some aspects of the debate rest on limited evidence and/or outdated data, including: out-dated national time trend data on children and inadequate measures of obesity and overweight. This e-brief provides links to sources and an overview of the current state of obesity and overweight in Australia. Information on how overweight and obesity are measured is presented, followed by a brief discussion on the limitations of these measures. Prevalence data for obesity and overweight in children and adults is then presented and limitations of this data are discussed. The need for a national nutrition survey and recent developments in this area are discussed, and finally some links to information and sources are provided.

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