April in review - Bundy's fat epidemic

PEOPLE in the Wide Bay region are fatter, smoke more and eat less fruit and vegetables despite all the health warnings.

This was the bleak news delivered to the region in April after Queensland Health's latest state-wide survey results were released.

Based on self-reported height and weight, 30% of adults in the Wide Bay region were at a healthy weight and 37% were overweight.

This equated to about 58,000 Wide Bay adults who were overweight.

Wide Bay Health and Medical Local preventative health manager Glenn Austin at the time said unfortunately the region was not tracking well.

"There is plenty of work to do," he said.

"Our unhealthy weight and fruit and vegetable consumption are still evident problems."

Mr Austin said there had been a sizable increase in physical activity since the last survey with about 55% of adults participating in five sessions of moderate or vigorous activity a week compared to 47.9% in 2011.

"We are making some gains in physical activity which is a protective factor for a range of chronic diseases," Mr Austin said.

"But we'd best not break out the champagne just yet."

The survey also showed about 19% of adults in the region smoked daily compared to 14.4% across the state while Wide Bay adults ate 1.7 serves of fruit with 52% taking in the recommended two serves of daily fruit.

"These behaviours lend themselves to a whole host of chronic conditions including heart disease and diabetes," he said.

"If we can make inroads in all these areas it will have a significant impact on the health of our population and the burden on our health system."

CQUniversity dean of human, health and social sciences Professor Andy Bridges said the key to combating these figures was education.

"It's telling that we have such fresh produce available and yet we still have these stats," he said.

"We need to make sure children are made aware of the health implications from parents and teachers."



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