New Study Shows Australian Children Are Overweight

Article updated January 2024

A comprehensive global study lead by the University of Washington has shown that the rise in worldwide obesity is becoming an increasing concern with “startling” increases. The international team of researchers drew data from 188 countries across all 21 regions of the world and involved a thorough review of reports, scientific literature, and surveys that related to rates of obesity and being overweight between the years 1980 and 2013.

What is the rate of obesity in Australia?

According to data from the Australian National Obesity Strategy 2022-2032, almost two thirds (65.8%) of Australian adults were overweight or obese in 2022 and 1 in four Aussie children. The study by the University of Washington ranked Australia as second on a global scale for increases in obesity rates, behind the US.

global study obesity in australia

New findings offer some hope for obesity rates

While the study showed that, unlike other major global health risks such as smoking, there was no significant decline in obesity rates in any country, there was a glimmer of hope with the most recent statistics. Lead researcher, Professor Emmanuela Gakidou, said, 

Our findings show that increases in the prevalence of obesity have been substantial, widespread, and have arisen over a short time. However, there is some evidence of a plateau in adult obesity rates that provides some hope that the epidemic might have peaked in some developed countries and that populations in other countries might not reach the very high rates of more than 40% reported in some developing countries.”

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