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Australia’s better health battle: men and women

We look at the data in the Medibank Better Health Index to find out which gender is healthier.

We want to help create a healthier Australia. So we’ve teamed up with Roy Morgan Research to bring you the Medibank Better Health Index– Australia’s most comprehensive quarterly health survey.

Chatting to approximately 1,000 Australians each week, we’re learning hundreds of details about their health – from the food they eat, to the exercise they do, and the bad habits that might be pulling them back.

The Medibank Better Health Index will give you valuable news and insights into our national health, how it’s changing, and what it means for you.

Who is healthier: men or women?

The latest Medibank Better Health Index shows that on average, Aussie men are healthier than women.

Looking at each of the individual health areas, men were found to be healthier when it comes to fitness, mental health and medical health, and they were also found to smoke slightly less. By contrast, women were found to drink less, have a lower overall BMI, and be healthier in nutrition.

How it works

The Medibank Better Health Index is centered on seven health areas: nutrition, fitness, BMI, medical health, mental health, smoking and alcohol. When combined, these make up an overall Health Index Score.

The Health Index Score lets us see how Australia’s health is shifting over time. In December 2007, the score was sitting at a base of 100. Since then, we’ve measured whether our national health has improved or declined year-on-year, by observing changes across the seven health areas. For example, if nutrition increases, this brings the Health Index Score up. If mental health decreases, this brings the Health Index Score down. Higher score = better health.

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