72% of Australian women (aged 18+) say they would like to lose weight, while 56% are actually overweight—and this disconnect in body perception is widest among young women aged 18-24, Roy Morgan Research shows.
Among women aged 18-24, 36% are overweight*, yet twice as many agree with the statement, “I would like to be able to lose weight” (72%). With Single Source research, we can investigate the real cross-over, and find that while over 9 out of 10 overweight young women agree they want to lose weight, so do 60% of those with a BMI below 25.
Across all age groups, at least 7 in 10 women say they want to lose weight—consistently outnumbering those who actually have a BMI 25 and over. Overall, 50% of women with a BMI under 25 nevertheless say they would like to lose weight.
Proportions who are Overweight or Would like to lose weight
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, July 2014 – June 2015, n = 15,241 Australians 18+. *The World Health Organization defines Overweight as a Body Mass Index (weight in kilograms divided by height in metres squared) of 25 or over.
Among men, the number in each age group who say they want to lose weight more closely mirrors the actual incidence of overweight men—but there is, perhaps, a converse issue. Although men with a BMI under 25 are far less likely than women to want to lose weight regardless, those who are overweight are also less likely: 63% of Aussie adult males are overweight, but 58% agree they would like to be able to lose weight. Almost a quarter of all overweight men actually disagree that they would like to lose weight—including 1 in 3 overweight men 18-24.
1.5 million Australian adults (8%) buy weight loss or meal replacement products in an average six month period—11% of women and 6% of men. And, reflecting their inflated weight loss ambitions above, women aged 18-24 are among the most likely to have bought these products in the last six months (13%).
Overall, 11% of overweight Australian adults buy weight loss or meal replacement products.
% who bought weight loss or meal replacement products in last six months
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, July 2014 – June 2015, n = 15,241 Australians 18+
Andrew Price, General Manager – Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“Men and women clearly have different attitudes to weight loss, especially 18 to 24 year-olds. Around 6 in 10 young women with a BMI less than 25 would still like to lose weight, while 1 in 3 younger men with a BMI over 25 don’t want to lose any.
“It may be that some younger men want muscle bulk that classifies them as overweight, while among younger women a BMI of 22-25 or so is not as ‘acceptable’ as it is, medically, across the total population.
“18-24 year-old men and women with a BMI 25+ are each over 60% more likely than the average overweight Australian of their respective gender buy weight loss or meal replacement products. 22% of overweight young women and 13% of overweight young men have bought such items in the last six months.”
Roy Morgan Research
Roy Morgan Research is Australia’s best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
P: 03 9224 5332