1 in 6 obese Australians believe their weight is normal, says survey

According to results released Sept 15 by Zurich Financial Services Australia (Zurich) and the Heart Foundation in their joint second annual Zurich Heart Foundation Heart Health Index:

Australians have a risky, distorted perception of their health status, and are unwittingly putting their heart health at risk… [T]his year even more Australians have been shown to be obese or overweight (54 per cent)… Many Australians are clearly unaware that making lifestyle changes could lower their risk of heart disease.

  • Only two per cent of respondents reported they had made lifestyle choices to satisfy guidelines to lower their risk of heart disease. These choices include not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, eating the right number of servings of fruit and vegetables, and meeting physical activity guidelines.
  • Ninety-eight per cent of respondents admit they are not doing enough to reduce their risky choices to their health.
  • One in six Australians who are obese believe their weight meets health guidelines, compared to one in nine last year. The health guidelines note 20-24.9 BMI as the ideal weight range. Obese individuals have a BMI greater than 30.
  • More than half (57 per cent) of those who are overweight believe their weight meets guidelines.
  • Men are more likely to think they meet weight guidelines even though they are overweight or obese. Twenty-two per cent of obese men believe they meet the guidelines (12 per cent for women) and 59 per cent for overweight men (53 per cent for women)