13 Points on Australian Children
I like finding out statistics about various topics. And, recently I've watched a couple of interesting documentaries on Australian children and their health/well being. It started me Googling for some statistics so here are 13 courtesy of the Department of Health and Ageing and the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Its not pretty!
1) 20% of Australia's population is under 15. (For some perspective: US 20%, Malaysia 33%, Indonesia 28%, China 20%, India 33%)
2) 17% of boys and girls were classified as overweight; 6% were obese; and 5% were found to be underweight.
3) 61% of 4–8 year olds consumed adequate fruit (excluding juice), compared to only 1% of 14–16 year old boys and girls.
4) 22% of 4–8 year old children and 5% of 14–16 year olds met the dietary guidelines for vegetable intake
5) Saturated fat intake contributed approximately 13–14% of the children’s energy intake. Recommended guidelines are for 10% or less of total energy intake.
6) Sugar contributed to 23–24% of total energy intake. Recommended guidelines are for no more than 20%.
7) 69% of children aged 9–16 surveyed accumulated at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity on most of the days surveyed.
8) 309,000 reports of suspected child abuse recorded during 2006-07. These figures have increased by over 50% in the last five years. Of the initial reports, 58000 were substantiated.
9) 13.2% of children live in households where they are at risk of exposure to binge drinking by at least one adult.
10) 25% of children aged 14-19 years drank alcohol on a daily or weekly basis in the last 12 months. (I can't remember actual figure but one documentary mentioned something like 50% of under aged drinkers being supplied the alcohol by their parents.)
11) 14% of children and adolescents aged 4-17 years have mental health problems.
12) 10 % of children family to meet minimum literary standards while 5% fail to meet minimum standards in maths.
13) ~25% of 13 yr olds are reading at the level of the brightest 20% of 7 yr olds. Not surprisingly, these students were usually from indigenous or low-income families. The story of the indigenous children in Australia is a sad one. I'll save it for another blogging day.