Aussies fatter and drunker than ever before

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Melbourne, June 24 : They might be known to have longer life expectancy, but a majority of Oz people are fatter, drunker and have more sexually transmitted diseases than ever before.

Obesity and binge drinking are on the rise among natives, with excessive alcohol consumption costing taxpayers an estimated 10.8 billion dollars in 2004-05.

The data released by Australia's Health 2008 showed that men who reach 65 are now expected to live to the age of 83 and women to 86 - about six years more than a century ago.

It also showed that death rates for cancer, heart disease, stroke and injury were declining and Australia is leading the world in vaccination, with 90 per cent of children fully immunised against preventable childhood diseases at age two.

But still nearly 7.4 million Australians are overweight and almost one-third of those were obese.

"Close to three in 10 children and young people are overweight or obese," News.com.au quoted Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) director Penny Allbon, as saying.

Though asthma rates gave decreased among children and adults but the rate of diabetes has doubled in the past two decades.

"In rank order, the greatest improvements can be achieved through reductions in tobacco smoking, high blood pressure, overweight/obesity, physical inactivity, high blood cholesterol and excessive alcohol consumption," she said.

Moreover, despite government's safe-sex campaigns, more and more people are contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) with Chlamydia most frequently reported.

Nearly 238 people per 100,000, which has increased from 57 in 1998 reported catching STIs.

As the supply of doctors has also gone down by nine per cent in 2005 from 1997, access to quick treatments is also decreasing.

But access to GPs in remote areas has improved by 15 per cent.

Due to lack of organised water supply, the life expectancy gap in remote Aboriginal communities between indigenous and non-indigenous people is widening.

ANI

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