13:31 AEST Thu Jun 21 2012
Australians are eating badly and getting fatter - but still 85 per cent rate their own health as good or better.
This disconnect between fact and fiction is revealed in the latest report card on the nation's health from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
Just 50 per cent of people consume the suggested two serves of fruit per day. Fewer than one in 10 eat the recommended five serves of vegetables per day.
And while we might be a nation of sports-lovers almost 60 per cent don't do enough physical activity.
As a result Australia has the second highest rate of obesity for males and the fifth highest for females.
One in four adults and one in 12 children are obese. That's more than three million people.
The proportion of the population suffering with diabetes doubled in the decade to 2007/08. Type 2 diabetes is linked to lifestyle factors and accounts for up to 90 per cent of all cases.
Yet some 85 per cent of Australians rate their health as good or better, according to Australia's Health 2012 released on Thursday.
The breakdown is interesting: 56 per cent of Australian say their health is very good or excellent, 29 per cent opt for good while just 15 per cent admit their status is fair or poor.
Happily, most Australians feel pretty good about their quality of life.
Some 83 per cent say they are delighted, pleased or mostly satisfied. Fourteen per cent have mixed feelings while just four per cent are miserable.
Australia has the sixth-longest life expectancy for males (at 79) and females (84) among similar developed countries.
Switzerland topped the list for boys (at 80) while Japan has the longest life-expectancy for girls (86).
Cardiovascular disease remains Australia's biggest killer accounting for 33 per cent of all deaths. But the good news is there's been a 78 per cent decline in deaths from heart attacks and strokes since the 1968 peak.
"Australia has relatively high death rates from heart disease, diabetes and chronic lung disease," AIHW director David Kalisch said in a statement.