News State QLD News Larger than life Queenslanders the subject of health campaign

Larger than life Queenslanders the subject of health campaign

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A new study shows Queensland has three of the six most obese regions in Australia.

It comes as the State Government unveils an $8 million ad campaign to raise awareness about Queensland’s obesity problem.

More than 30 per cent of Queenslanders are weighing in as obese, compared to the national average of 27.5 per cent.

Chief health officer Jeanette Young says 65 per cent of Queensland are overweight but many do not even realise.

“I’m not surprised people are saying I’m not different to family and friends,” she said.

“The vast majority are over the weight we want them to be, that’s becoming the norm.”

She says there are serious health problems associated with obesity.

“It means there is fat around the internal organs, it’s called toxic fat for good reason because it really is dangerous,” she said.

Health Minister Laurence Springborg hopes the ads will shock people into action.

“Some of these ads will be a little bit confronting, there’s no doubt about that but we can’t afford to tiptoe in the tulips anymore,” he said.

Figures give first regional measure

The National Health Performance Authority, an independent agency that began work last year, has provided the first local break down of obesity rates in Australia.

The central Victorian region of Loddon-Mallee-Murray recorded the highest rate, with 41 per cent of adults weighing in as obese.

Central Queensland is was not far behind at 39 per cent.

In the north Queensland region of Townsville/Mackay and in West Moreton/Oxley in the state’s south-east obesity affected 38 per cent of adults.

The Townsville region south to Mackay was also listed as the second fattest community in the nation.

Combining overweight and obese categories in the region spanned 75 per cent of the adult population.

That figure falls to 63 per cent in far north Queensland and the Darling Downs, west of Brisbane.

The Sunshine Coast has the state’s leanest adult obesity problem at 22 per cent.

The report found almost 11 million adult Australians were either overweight or obese in 2011 to 2012.

It also concluded that the problem continues to worsen.