17.9% of Indigenous boys aged 2 to 14 years are overweight, compared to 18.7% of non-Indigenous boys
26.1% of Indigenous boys aged 10 to 14 years are overweight and 12.5% are obese
42.1% of total daily energy intake for Indigenous boys aged 4 to 8 years is from discretionary foods
63.9% of Indigenous boys in non-remote areas aged 5 to 8 years met physical activity guidelines
Overweight and obese children by indigenous status
Australian Bureau of Statistics. 4727.0.55.006 - Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: Updated Results, 2012–13. 2014. Table 9.3.
In 2012–13, almost one in three (29.7%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 2–14 years were either overweight (19.6%) or obese (10.2%). The proportion of Indigenous children aged 2–14 years who were overweight/obese was higher than the rate for non-Indigenous children (25.0%).1 Indigenous girls were more likely to be overweight and obese compared to Indigenous boys.
Overweight and obese children by age and gender
Australian Bureau of Statistics. 4727.0.55.006 - Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: Updated Results, 2012–13. 2014. Table 9.3 and 8.3
Note: Obese indigenous boys 2-4 years, underweight non-indigenous boys 2-4 years and obese indigenous girls 2-4 years proportion has a relative standard error between 25% and 50% and should be used with caution
Food group consumption by serve
In 2011-13, children’s consumption of core foods from the five food groups varied by Indigenous status and age group.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Nutrition across the life stages. Canberra, Australia 2018, Supplementary tables S9 to S13 AND Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Nutrition across the life stages. Canberra, Australia 2018, Supplementary table S17
National Health and Medical Research Council's (NHMRC) 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend a minimum number of serves of fruit and vegetables each day, depending on a person's age and sex, to ensure good nutrition and health.
|Age and food group||Serves per day: Indigenous||Serves per day: Non-indigenous||Recommended serves per day: Boys||Recommended serves per day: Girls|
|Lean meats + alternatives|
|Meat, yoghurt, cheese + alternatives|
Percentage of total daily energy intake from discretionary food
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Nutrition across the life stages. Canberra, Australia 2018. Supplementary table S17
Note: The Australian Dietary Guidelines Summary lists examples of discretionary choices as including: most sweet biscuits, cakes, desserts and pastries; processed meats and sausages; ice-cream; confectionery and chocolate; savoury pastries and pies; commercial burgers; commercially fried foods; potato chips, crisps and other fatty and/or salty snack foods; cream, butter and spreads which are high in saturated fats; sugar sweetened soft drinks and cordials, sports and energy drinks.
Discretionary food makes a greater contribution to the total energy intake of Indigenous children, compared to non-Indigenous children. Discretionary foods are high in energy but low in nutrients, and are not needed to meet nutrient requirements.
Proportion of energy from added sugars
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Nutrition across the life stages, Canberra, Australia, 2018, Supplementary table 20
Intake of added sugars was higher among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children than non-Indigenous children in 2011-13.2 Added sugars are those added to foods by manufacturers or consumers, excluding those naturally present in honey, syrups and fruit juices.
Physical activity in non-remote areas
Australian Bureau of Statistics. 4727.0.55.004 - Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: Physical Activity, 2012-13. 2014. Table 9.3.
The physical activity recommendation for children 5-17 years is 60 minutes or more per day.
Almost half (47.7%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 5-17 years living in non-remote areas met the recommendation of 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day in 2012-13, compared to about one-third (35.4%) of non-Indigenous children.1
Physical activity in remote areas
Australian Bureau of Statistics. 4727.0.55.004 - Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: Physical Activity, 2012-13. 2014. Table 18.3.
In remote areas, 81.7% of children aged 5-17 years did more than the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity on the day prior to interview in 2012-13, 14.2% did less than 60 minutes and 4.1% did no physical activity.1