ood news is that Australians are smoking and drinking less... the bad news is that Aussies are getting fatter.
Sixty-three percent of Australians are now overweight or obese, according to government statistics. Of that figure, 35 percent are overweight and 28 percent obese. Generally, more men are fat than women.
"The proportion of overweight adult Australians has increased by more than two percentage points, meaning that nearly two-thirds of the population are now classified as overweight or obese," said government statistician Paul Jelfs.
In 2007-2008, 61 percent were overweight or obese. In 1995, the figure was at 56.3 percent.
Since 1995, the average Australian male has gained 3.9 kilograms (8.6 lbs.), while the average Australian woman is now 4.1 kilograms heavier.
Interestingly, Australians are also getting taller. In addition, childhood obesity has apparently stabilized – one-fourth of Australian kids are overweight or obese, the same level as four years ago.
Also, the percentage of Australian who smoke daily has declined from 19 percent four years ago to 16 percent. The proportion of heavy drinkers has fallen to 19.5 percent from 21 percent over that period.
Nonetheless, Lyn Roberts, the chief executive of the Heart Foundation warned that Australians are ''at risk of eating ourselves to death'' and called for the government to reduce salt and saturated fat in processed foods.
“This data just confirms how important and urgent this work is for the health of millions of Australians,'' she said.
Among the world's developed nations, Australia ranks fifth in terms of obesity, according to the OECD.
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