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Regional Queenslanders face obesity and health crisis

Regional Queenslanders face obesity and health crisis
August 1, 2014

Queensland has been labelled the fattest state in Australia, with rural obesity levels now at an alarming level.

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has advised that two in three regional Queenslanders are overweight or obese, and that in centre of Townsville and Mackay, 75% of the population is overweight.

The AMA is particularly concerned about the health and lifestyle of men aged between 45 to 65 in regional Queensland who:

• Are 30% more likely to smoke

• Are up to 1.5 times as likely to drink heavily

• Are 44% more likely to die of heart disease

• Have a 31% greater risk of suffering a stroke than their city cousins (in the Darling Downs, it was 70%, and it was not much better in central Queensland).

Men between 45 and 65 in regional areas were also more likely to smoke and drink heavily.

Launching AMA’s Lighten the Load campaign, a new campaign targeting rural obesity in Queensland, AMA Queensland President Dr Shaun Rudd explained "when you become obese you are liable to have chronic health problems classic of those diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease."

Dr Rudd said high body mass was now the leading cause of premature death and disability in Queensland, adding "it is estimated obesity directly costs Australia's health system around $2 billion per year, and people who are obese face health care costs that are 30 per cent higher than those with healthy body weights."

Click here to view videos from the AMA’s Lighten the Load campaign.




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