Smoking, nutrition, alcohol, physical activity (SNAP)

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The SNAP risk factors are common among patients attending general practice. Of adult patients attending general practice encounters in 2013–14:1

  • 62.7% were overweight (34.9%) or obese (27.8%)
  • 13.5% were daily smokers, 2.3% were occasional smokers, 28.6% were previous smokers
  • 23% drank ‘at risk’ levels of alcohol
  • around 50% had at least one of the above three risk factors.

Australian adults spent an average of approximately 30 minutes per day doing physical activity in 2011–12. However, only 43% of adults did at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most days.2

Each of the SNAP risk factors is associated with many diseases and often interrelate throughout the lifecycle. It is therefore important to manage risk factors collectively and not in isolation. The ‘absolute risk’ approach, and the associated absolute cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk calculator was developed by the National Vascular Disease Prevention Alliance. It attempts to place assessment and intervention of an individual risk factor within the context of the ‘absolute risk’ that the patient will have a cardiovascular event in the next five years. The online calculator is referred to throughout this guide.

  1. Britt H, Miller GC, Henderson J, et al. General practice activity in Australia 2013–14. General practice series no.36. Sydney: Sydney University Press; 2014.
  2. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Health Survey: Physical Activity 2011–12. Cat. no. 4364.0.55.004. Canberra: ABS; 2013.