- National Health Survey finds WA has the least number of adult smokers
- WA only jurisdiction to experience a decrease in daily smoking rates
- Western Australian adults more likely to undertake exercise compared to nation as a whole
The 2017-18 National Health Survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics is an Australia-wide survey which collects a range of information about the health of Australians, including the prevalence of health risk factors and long-term health conditions.
The National Health Survey found six out of 10 Western Australians consider themselves to be in excellent or very good health, the highest rate recorded in Australia.
It found that fewer adults in WA were daily smokers compared with the national rate (11.8 per cent compared to 13.8 per cent), and that Western Australia was the only State or Territory to record a decrease in daily smoking rates since 2014-15.
This sustained downward trend can be partly attributed to Western Australia's strong tobacco control legislation and the 'Make Smoking History' campaign funded by the Department of Health, Cancer Council WA and Healthway.
Further, more Western Australians aged 18-64 undertook 150 minutes or more exercise in the last week, compared to the national rate (59.4 per cent compared to 55.4 per cent).
WA had a lower rate of adults in the obese category compared with Australia (28.7 per cent compared with 31.3 per cent). However, in the broader category that captures obese and overweight people, two thirds (66.7 per cent) of adults aged 18 years and over were overweight or obese, similar to the national rates.
These survey findings are consistent with estimates produced by the WA Health and Wellbeing Surveillance System, a Department of Health survey designed to monitor the health status of Western Australians on an ongoing basis.
Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:
"The McGowan Government is committed to improving the health of all Western Australians, and these survey results are extremely encouraging. We are working hard to keep our communities healthy and to reduce the risk of preventable disease.
"Earlier this month, stronger tobacco legislation came into effect that will promote improved community health and reduce tobacco exposure to children.
"The development of a national obesity strategy is very welcome and much needed. In the meantime, we have taken important steps at a State level to address obesity including hosting the WA Preventive Health Summit last year. We are also looking at kilojoule labelling on fast food menus and ensuring WA health facilities provide healthy food options for staff and visitors.
"Helping to drive down chronic diseases will take a joint effort between governments, the health sector, our non-government partners, and the Western Australian people. These results show that we are making encouraging progress."
Minister's office - 6552 6500