Monday, September 6, 2010

Data on obesity in Australia and other countries

I often hear people quoting various figures about Australia being one of the most obese countries do I decided to search for some current data and found the following site. On the site you can find a comprehensive Excel spreadsheet with a range of health related data.

OECD Health Data 2010 - Frequently Requested Data

I found the data on the increase in obesity (total of males and females) from 1980 (8.3%) to 2007 (24.8%) to be quite staggering. Until recently I was one of those people in the obese classification. Yes sometimes when I would walk and catch my reflection I thought there was a resemblance to Alfred Hitchcock, but honestly I didn't think or feel like I was obese. I was!

I worked out a method to lose weight and for the first time in  over a decade lost weight and continued to lose weight. Over 20kg. Often I'd lose a few kg, plateau, put it all back on and then continue to gradually put on weight. But with my new approach I got my weight under control and know what I need to do to keep my weight under control. I wrote a BMI/BRM calculator in which I share the basis of my approach.

The following is a list of the top obese countries based on the data provided.

United States (2008) 33.8%
Mexico (2006) 30%
New Zealand (2007) 26.5%
Australia (2007) 24.8%
United Kingdom (2008) 24.5%
Canada (2008) 24.2%
Ireland (2007) 23.0%
Luxemburg (2007) 20%

I also found the stats on tobacco use very interesting. The percentage of Australians over 15+ who are daily smokers has gone from  43% in 1964 to 16.6% in 2007. The message to give up smoking and the increasing tax does appear to have made a significant difference.

I was recently in Greece and noticed cigarettes are incredibly inexpensive. A carton for around $20-$30. When I looked at the figures for Greece which is 43% in 1987 to 39.7% in 2008 there hasn't been much change. This indicates to me the price of cigarettes makes a considerable difference to smoker participation.

I found these stats interesting and thought others might enjoy knowing about the statistics.

Kelvin Eldridge

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