Underweight Australians significantly more stressed than those overweight but not obese

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 15th October 2012

Roy Morgan Research has reported that while 4.25 Million Australians report experiencing stress in the past 12 months, Australians who are underweight have reported significantly more stress than those who are overweight but not obese.

The study from July 2011 to June 2012 reported that the highest incidence of stress is found among the 2.5% of all Australians 14+ who, based on Body Mass Index (BMI), are considered underweight. The report showed that nearly one third (32%) of Australians who are underweight reported experiencing stress in the last 12 months.

Surprisingly, the Roy Morgan poll reported the 32 % figure was higher than the 21.3% of overweight people and 22.2% of those at an acceptable weight who experienced stress.  Ranked second behind underweight Australians are those who are classified as obese, with 27.1% of them experiencing stress in the last year.

The report showed that among the 78.8% of Australians who agree they’re “feeling well and in good health,” only 19.7% reported having stress in the last 12 months. It was reported that Australians who participate in sports & leisure activities regularly are less likely to experience stress than those who do so occasionally. Furthermore, those who play sport in an average three month period reported only 18.8 % stress levels, compared with 24.4 per % cent of Australians suffering from stress who participate in formal exercise such as going to a gym.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research said that lifestyle could be a major contributor to stress.

“The benefits of maintaining good health and regular exercise are widely accepted as effective in helping to manage stress and our data certainly supports this, showing that Australians who exercise or play sport regularly are less likely to experience stress compared to those who do not,” Ms Levine said.


Image and statistics supplied by Roy Morgan Research