2-11

2-11. Childhood overweight and obesity

Introduction

2-11-1. Overweight and obesity in children

2-11-2. Overweight and obesity in Aboriginal children

Sources

 

Introduction

Body mass index or BMI is a measure of body fat based on the ratio of weight and height (bodyweight in kilograms divided by height in metres squared). The normal range of BMI for an adult is 18.5 to 24.9 kg/m2.

Overweight for children is defined as a BMI (appropriate for age and sex) that is likely to be equal to 25 but less than 30 at age 18 years. Obesity for children is defined as BMI (appropriate for age and sex) that is likely to be 30 or more at age 18 years.

 

2-11-1. Overweight and obesity children

  • More than a quarter (28.4%, not age standardised) of children aged 5-17 years in South Australia were overweight or obese when the Australian Bureau of Statistics conducted its 2017-18 National Health Survey.1
  • This is above the national average for children (24.9%, not age standardised).1
  • Compared to the other states and territories, South Australia ranks third-highest for prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity.1

 

Children aged 5-17 years overweight or obese, 2017-18 (crude rates)
State/Territory %
Victoria 21.6%
Queensland 24.6%
Australian Capital Territory 24.7%
New South Wales 25.6%
Western Australia 26.2%
South Australia 28.4%
Tasmania 28.6%
Northern Territory 31.4%
Australia 24.9%

2-11-1_au

Data source: ABS 2019

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2-11-2. Overweight and obesity in Aboriginal children

  • Over a third (37.6%) of Aboriginal children aged 5-17 years in South Australia were overweight or obese when the Australian Bureau of Statistics conducted its 2011-13 Australian Health Survey.2
  • This is above the national average for Aboriginal children (32.8%), and well above the non-Aboriginal rate for South Australia (23.0%).2
  • Compared to Aboriginal children in other states and territories, South Australia is ranked second highest for prevalence of Aboriginal childhood overweight and obesity.2

 

Aboriginal children aged 5-17 years overweight or obese, 2011-13
State/Territory %
Northern Territory 24.2%
Queensland 30.4%
Western Australia 31.6%
Tasmania 32.1%
Victoria 34.5%
New South Wales 36.7%
South Australia 37.6%
Australian Capital Territory 41.9%
Australia 32.8%

2-11-2 AU

Data source: Productivity Commission 2016

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Sources

  1. Based on Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS 2019), ‘Table 16.3 Children's Body Mass Index, Proportion of persons — States and territories’, National Health Survey: First Results, 2017–18, cat. no. 4364.0.55.001, 27 March 2019.
  2. Based on Productivity Commission 2016, 'Volume E: Health, Overview, Attachment tables, Table EA.20 Rate of overweight and obesity for children by Indigenous status, 2011-13,' Report on Government Services 2016, Government of Australia, Canberra, viewed 10 March 2016.