Mapping Australia’s collective weight gain

One in four Australians are now obese. But when – and how – did we gain this weight? Kyle May

OBESE NATION: It’s time to admit it - Australia is becoming an obese nation. Today we launch a series looking at how this has happened and, more importantly, what we can do to stop the obesity epidemic.


In Australia today, around two-thirds of adults and a quarter of children are overweight or obese. This is a dramatic change from the landscape just 30 years ago when we first collected national data on weight and height.

In 1980, around 60% of Australian adults had a healthy weight; today this has almost halved to around 35%. In 1980, just 10% of adults were obese. In 2012, this figure tips 25%. The infographic below shows just how quickly obesity is increasing in Australia. And why it’s not an exaggeration to call it an epidemic.