News State Western Australia News Obesity rates a ‘wake-up call for regional communities’

Obesity rates a ‘wake-up call for regional communities’

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A health expert says a new report, highlighting some of Western Australia’s regional areas as among the nation’s fattest, “explodes the myth” that country residents are more active than city people.

Data from the National Health Performance Authority found that while 65 per cent of WA’s total population is either overweight or obese, the rates in the regions are much higher.

In the south-west region, which includes the Great Southern and lower wheatbelt, 72 per cent are overweight.

In the Goldfields and mid-west, 74 per cent of people are considered overweight – which was one of the nation’s highest rates.

Curtin University’s Mike Daube says it is a disturbing reality.

“This is absolutely a wake-up call for all our regional communities and I think it’s telling us too there’s something we can all do,” he said.

“This isn’t just something that should be left for federal or state governments.

“I think what it also does is explode the myth that somehow people who are outside the metro area are more active and aren’t as obese and overweight as the rest of the population.”