Shock amount Aussies are drinking revealed

Three in 10 adults are living with obesity in Australia, new ABS figures show. Picture: David Mariuz/NCA NewsWire.

More than a quarter of Australian adults are exceeding daily recommended limits of alcohol while obesity rates have nearly doubled in Australia over the past two decades, according to a new snapshot of the nation’s health.

The latest national health survey from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) found 27 per cent of the adult population consume more than ten alcoholic drinks per week.

That figure equates to one in four Australian adults.

The country’s official health guidelines recommend adults consume no more than 10 drinks a week to avoid the risk of developing an illness or disease, such as cancer.

Australia recommends adults consume no more than 10 drinks a week. Picture: Rebecca Bennett
Australia recommends adults consume no more than 10 drinks a week. Picture: Rebecca Bennett

Young people aged 18 to 24 are the most likely to drink over the healthy limit, with over one in three drinking more than 10 standard drinks a week, or 5 or more drinks on any one day.

While Australia has recorded a downward trend in alcohol consumption over the past two decades, data shows that the number of alcohol-related deaths has risen each year for the past four years.

According to the Cancer Council, alcohol is responsible for nearly 3,500 new cancer diagnoses and linked to more than 2,000 deaths annually.

The national health survey also revealed that rates of obesity have nearly doubled since 1995, with 2 in 3 adults or over 65 per cent of the adult population overweight or obese.

Only 6.5 per cent of adults in Australia are currently eating the recommended daily vegetable intake. More than four in ten are consuming less than two serves of fruit per day.

“On average, we were doing 69 minutes of physical activity every day and nearly half of us spent most of our work day sitting,” said ABS health statistics director Robert Long.

About 10 per cent of Aussie adults are smoking daily, down from 22.4 per cent in 2001. Picture: Nicki Connolly/NCA NewsWire.

While rates of obesity in Australia are accelerating, smoking is on the decline, with the number of daily adult smokers more than halving over the last twenty years.

More than 3.5 million Australians aged 14 and older currently smoke or vape, according to June research released by Cancer Victoria.

“One in seven adults had used e-cigarettes and vaping devices at least once in their life,” Mr Long said.

The national health survey showed eight in ten people live with at least one long-term health condition. Mental health and behavioural conditions, back problems, and arthritis were the most common chronic health issues experienced by Australians in 2022.