The ABS has released their regular survey of Australians and their health. There is a wealth of detail in there, but 62% of men, and 45% of women (up 4% each from 5 years ago) were overweight or obese. Mostly, the increase is in the obese proportion, as people move from normal weight to overweight, and then again to obese. I’ve realised again that my eye has got used to people’s new proportions. One of my colleagues mentioned to me the other day that he was classified obese (BMI marginally over 30). If you’d asked me before the conversation, I wouldn’t have said he was overweight. But then if 62% of Australian men are overweight, that’s the man you’re used to looking at.
Just to put it into perspective, one of the health conditions asked about is diabetes. Right now, 3.5% of the population has it (or knows they have it – most estimates are that as many people again have Type II diabetes without knowing about it). Last survey, five years ago, it was 3.0%. It may not sound like much of a change, but it is a 15% increase.