Who is overweight and obese in Western Australia?

In 2015, 27% of Western Australians aged 16 and over were obese, while 40% were overweight. That is a lot of people who are at greater risk of illness (external site). With Men being more likely than women to be overweight or obese.

In 2014, 9% of Western Australian children and teenagers were obese, while 14% were overweight.

Overweight so what?

We’re the heaviest we've ever been in Australia. Between 1995 and 2011-12 (external site) there was a:

  • 3.6 kg increase in weight of average adult man
  • 4.0 kg increase in weight of average adult woman.

The rates of overweight and obesity increase among people 45 years and older.

Overweight and obesity measured by high body mass index (BMI) (HealthyWA) is one of the leading risk factors contributing to the burden of disease (external site) in Australia.

Being overweight or obese puts people at greater risk (HealthyWA) of a range of health problems including: 

  • heart disease 
  • stroke 
  • type 2 diabetes 
  • some cancers. 

Overweight children have a much greater chance of being obese adults (HealthyWA) and at risk of a range of future health problems.

Poor nutrition and physical inactivity are major contributors to overweight and obesity, but many factors contribute to increasing rates of obesity in WA (external site), particularly changes to the environment around us.

Illness from excess weight in WA cost WA hospitals $241 million in 2011, and is estimated to almost double in 10 years to $488.4 million in 2021.