More Australians are quitting smoking, rates of overweight and obesity have stabilised and only one in 20 adults are eating enough fruits and vegetables, new figures out today show.
The National Health Survey 2014-15, released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, shows national daily smoking rates have dropped by around a third since 2001, from 22 per cent to 14.5 per cent in 2014-15.
Around one in four children (aged five to 17) and more than 63 per cent of Australian adults are overweight or obese, similar to rates recorded in 2011-12.
Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift encouraged all Queenslanders to make small, sustainable changes to their lifestyle for their long-term health.
“It’s concerning that some Queenslanders may consider themselves in very good health, yet they aren’t meeting the recommended physical activity or nutrition requirements,” Ms Clift said.
“Queensland research shows overweight people generally overestimate how healthy their lifestyle is. Weight is often seen as only one part of the concept of having an overall ‘healthy lifestyle’.
“Many Queenslanders are unaware that very practical changes to their everyday habits and routine can significantly improve their health.
“Up to one third of all cancers are preventable through simple lifestyle changes including engaging in physical activity, eating healthily, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol and quitting smoking.
“It is encouraging to see smoking rates drop in these latest survey results, but it is concerning to see rates of overweight and obesity remaining similar to figures reported in 2011-12.”
The survey showed only one in 20 adults and one in 20 children ate the recommended amounts of fruit and vegetables daily for optimum health.
“Having a poor diet increases the risk of being overweight or obese, which can lead to a range of chronic diseases, including some cancers,” Ms Clift said.
“Queensland adults should eat five serves of vegetables and two serves of fruit every day, and be active on most, preferably all, days of the week for optimum health.
“Evidence suggests motivating and enabling people to self-assess their portion sizes, along with supplying information, tips and skills, would assist with weight loss and overweight prevention.
“It’s imperative that we begin to turn these statistics around for overall health and happiness.
“Maintaining a healthy lifestyle must be a top priority for the whole community – we need to support one another to make healthy choices.”
For more information or interviews, please contact:
Katie Clift, Executive Manager, Media and Spokesperson, Cancer Council Queensland