Obesity a growing problem in Central Queensland
15 November 2018
Obesity in Central Queensland is a growing problem, according to The health of Queenslanders 2018 – Report of the Chief Health Officer Queensland.
Figures show 32% of Central Queenslanders (57,000) are obese, up from 28% (48,000) in the previous report in 2016.
Some 66% of Central Queensland adults are overweight, compared with the state average of 59%.
CQ Public Health Physician Dr Gulam Khandaker says there is a range of programs and information available for people wanting to achieve a healthy weight, especially based on reducing portion sizes and increasing physical activity.
“It can seem quite a simple concept to eat a healthy diet,” he said. “But we know that in practice it can be much harder than it is on paper to make healthy choices.
“Moving to a healthier diet means making realistic and sensible changes to what we eat and drink and aiming to be more active every day.
“Working towards a healthier weight should be about building sustainable healthy habits instead of diet or ‘quick fix’ solutions.
“Our diet should be rich in fruits, vegetables across all different colours, along with wholegrains and lean meat. We should also replace sugary drinks with water.”
Obesity contributes to many chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some lifestyle-related cancers. It can also increase joint and back pain.
Australian healthy dietary guidelines (www.eatforhealth.gov.au) is a great place to get healthy-eating tips, and information about portion size.
There are a number of supports available in the community, including Queensland Health’s “Healthier. Happier.” “Get Healthy”, “My Health for Life” and COACH programs. Go to www.health.qld.gov.au, or call 13 HEALTH (13 432584).
“If we routinely make unhealthy food and drink choices we risk weight gain and dental decay, this is why CQ Health is working on having healthier food and drink choices available at vending machines, cafés and food vans in our hospitals and health facilities,” Dr Khandaker said.
“As healthcare providers we really need to lead the way when it comes to making healthy food choices.”