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Report finds unhealthy Australians have heads in the sand

14 September 2011 - 6:23pm

A survey by health insurance provider Bupa has found that Australians are largely in denial about their levels of obesity.

13,373 respondents were interviewed in the survey, which revealed that many simply aren't aware of their risk status for problems such as heart disease and diabetes.

The research found that only one third of respondents believed that they were overweight.

However, measurements of their body mass index showed that 60 per cent were overweight or obese.

Alarmingly, 45 per cent admitted to doing "little or no regular exercise".

Dr Bert Boffa, head of medical services for Bupa says that the data illustrates how out of sync Australians are with the reality of their health.

Boffa says: "The results highlight a serious disparity between our perception of ourselves and the reality of our behaviour, which is leading many Australians firmly down the path of chronic disease."

"With the amount of online health information available, the question remains whether we are using it to our advantage or whether it's making us feel more overwhelmed and confused."

Information overload is a huge concern for many Australians when it comes to their health - every day consumers come into contact with advertisements and news reports vying to influence their decisions.

This overload could be the reason why many choose to consult an impartial third party when it comes to choosing a health cover product.