New report finds most Australian adults are overweight

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NEARLY all Australians are not eating enough vegetables and two-thirds of adults are overweight, according to a report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

The report found more than 99 per cent of children and 96 per cent of adults do not eat the recommended amount of vegetables.

From 1995 to 2014/15, the proportion of severely obese adults nearly doubled.

Out of the 35 OECD member countries, Australia has the fifth highest life expectancy for males at birth and the eighth highest for females.

Causes of death were similar in 2006 and 2016, with coronary heart disease the biggest killer for males (13 per cent), followed by lung cancer, and dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease was the leading cause of death for females (11 per cent) in 2016, followed by coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease.

But since 1980 death rates have fallen about four-fold for coronary heart disease and stroke.

While breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer for females and prostate cancer the most common diagnosis for men, lung cancer killed more Australians in 2016.

Half of Australians have a chronic condition such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease, which are typically long lasting and require ongoing management, according to the Australia’s Health 2018 report.

Nearly half (45 per cent) of Australians aged between 16-85 years will experience a mental illness, most commonly anxiety, substance use disorders and mood disorders.

Men who have served in the ADF are nearly twice as likely to experience affective disorders like depression (9.4 per cent) compared to men who have not served (5.7 per cent).

Those who identify as homosexual or bisexual are more likely to experience an anxiety disorder (32 per cent) than heterosexuals (14 per cent).

The report also found Australian teenagers are waiting longer until they first try alcohol, smoke a full cigarette and use illicit drugs, with cannabis, ecstasy and cocaine use falling.


– More than one-quarter of children are overweight or obese

– Australians do not exercise enough, with 92 per cent of teenagers not doing the recommended amount for their age

– On an average day there are 850 births, 440 deaths, 380 cancer diagnoses and 170 heart attacks

– On an average day there are 406,000 GP visits and 777,000 prescriptions under the PBS

– Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death for males, followed by lung cancer, and dementia and Alzheimer’s disease

– Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is the leading cause of death for females, followed by coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease

– One woman per week and one man per month is killed at the hands of a current or previous partner

– Indigenous Australians are 2.1 times as likely to die before their fifth birthday and 2.7 times as likely to experience high or very high levels of psychological distress

(Source: Australia’s Health 2018, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare).