Posted on 27. Sep, 2010 in News

The health and well-being of Victorians has been revealed in a new Brumby Labor Government survey.

Health Minister Daniel Andrews said the results of the 2008 Victorian Population Health Survey provided, for the first time, health data on all of the state’s 79 local government areas.

“The Brumby Labor Government is committed to boosting access to vital health services and encouraging all Victorians to live healthy, active lifestyles,” Mr Andrews said.

“The landmark survey has painted the most comprehensive picture on the health and well-being of Victorians in the state’s history.

“The survey is a vital tool in planning for a healthier future and contains data on health behaviours such as smoking, fruit and vegetable intake, alcohol consumption, levels of physical activity and cancer screening.

“We are also providing data on body weight, asthma, diabetes, mental health, and levels of social support, community participation and volunteering.

“Local government will be able to use this data to develop their public health and well-being programs.”

The findings of the survey, which involved more than 34,000 adults, showed:

  • 19.1 per cent of Victorians aged 18 years and over were current smokers – down from 24.1 per cent in 2001. Men were more like to smoke than women.
  • 31.9 per cent were overweight and 16.7 per cent were obese in 2008. More men were overweight than women.
  • 81.5 per cent of adults reported their health was excellent, very good or good – this has not changed significantly since 2005.
  • 10.7 per cent of adults had asthma – down from 12.1 per cent in 2001
  • 60.3 per cent of adults met the national guidelines for exercise
  • 56.9 per cent of Victorians consumed one to two serves of vegetables per day. More than twice as many females (10.5 per cent) as males (4.9 per cent) consumed five or more serves of vegetables per day.
  • 48.6 per cent of Victorians reported they consumed two or more serves of fruit per day. More than half of the female population (54.6 per cent) reported consuming two or more serves of fruit daily compared with 42.3 per cent of men. 
  • About 13.6 per cent of men and 6.9 of women reported drinking alcohol weekly at levels for short-term risk – this has not varied significantly over the period 2002-2008.


“We want Victorians eating better and exercising more so we will use this information to develop new public health programs to prevent chronic disease and support a healthy, active society,” Mr Andrews said.

Mr Andrews said the Government had made significant investments in programs aimed at promoting healthy living.

“Since 2002, we have invested over $150 million to Go for your life that promotes physical activity and healthy eating in response to increasing levels of overweight, obesity and diabetes,” he said.

“Our Tobacco Control Strategy aims to reduce adult smoking prevalence to 13.8 per cent by 2013 and key reforms have included a ban on tobacco point-of-sale displays in retail outlets from 1 January 2011, a ban on smoking in cars carrying people under 18 and banning the sale of tobacco from temporary outlets.

“Our Government’s $37.2 million Restoring the Balance: Victoria’s Alcohol Action Plan is tackling alcohol misuse in the community.

“The Brumby Labor Government has also invested in free WorkHealth checks at Victorian workplaces as part of our work to improve the health and wellbeing of employees and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

“And we are working with the Federal Government on primary health care reform and health prevention programs.”

The Victorian Population Health Survey will be undertaken at a local government level every three years, with the next survey beginning in early 2011.

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