Medical experts say the overweight and obesity rates on north coast are alarming even though they are lower than the regional NSW average.
New research from the National Health Performance Authority shows 29 per cent of north coast adults are considered obese, and a further 29 per cent are overweight.
It is lower than in Western New South Wales, the Illawarra and the New England.
But the Clinical Director of North Coast Medicare Local, Dr Dan Ewald, said that is no comfort.
“It’s better than some areas which is good, but it’s still a major problem,” he said.
“So I don’t think we should laugh it off and say it’s ok.
“It is still vying with smoking as the number one cause, preventable cause, of sickness.”
Dr Ewald said people can not be complacent about their weight.
“It’s not only that it makes people die earlier, but there’s enormous spin-offs in the quality of life,’ he said.
“People just can’t move well, they get a whole lot more arthritis pains, and they feel bad about themselves.
“Partly about the obesity, and the feeling bad about themselves probably, for many people, feeds back onto their struggle with managing their weight.”