Gladstone running hot in state’s fast-food outlets ranking

COMING FAST: Fast food chain Red Rooster will land in Grafton if a new service station development wins council approval.
COMING FAST: Fast food chain Red Rooster will land in Grafton if a new service station development wins council approval. AAP

AS obesity rates continue to swell in Gladstone, so too does the number of fast-food outlets with high kilojoules, saturated fat and high cholesterol on the menu.

The Gladstone City Council region ranked 13th for fast-food outlets in the state; statistics compiled without the consideration of the new fast food developments taking place at Calliope Travel Centre and Kirkwood shopping precinct.

With two-thirds of Queenslanders overweight, it is frightening to think being a healthy weight is the minority group.

Heart Foundation Queensland Health Director Rachelle Foreman says consumers needed to consider the long- term health impacts from consuming fast food.

"If you haven't got time to be healthy now, you had better make time to be sick later," she said.

"Eating from a fast food menu more than once a week is not recommended."

The prevalence of fast food restaurants in Gladstone is particularly concerning for health advocates, with almost 65.6% of Gladstone residents either overweight or obese.

So-called time-poor Gladstone residents are encouraged to pre-plan meals one week in advance, underlined by the fact that residents top the average of four visits to takeaway outlets weekly.

"I would expect those who travel long distances to work every day or those who work long hours to frequent fast- food restaurants more often," Ms Foreman said.

"With two-thirds of Queenslanders overweight, it is frightening to think being a healthy weight is the minority group."

Do you notice more obese people in the region?

This poll ended on 25 January 2014.

Current Results

Yes

62%

No

25%

Maybe, it's hard to tell

12%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

The studies, which take into account 11 major fast-food chains, does not consider independent eateries such as fish and chip stores or small fast food outlets.

With 18 operating outlets in Gladstone, the statistics show that there one fast-food outlet for every 3300 people.

Ms Foreman said retail giants were very familiar with demographics, but she warned consumers not to buy into an unhealthy life.

"The food and drinks sold at these outlets are mostly energy-dense and nutrient- poor," she said.

"A meal combo at a fast food chain can contain almost all of a person's daily kilojoule requirements and when these fast food outlets are everywhere - we have a problem."

Menu labelling, Ms Foreman says is an invaluable tool when considering healthier options when dining out.

"People need to be aware not to exceed the recommended number of kilojoules per day," she said.

Does living closer to a fast food outlet make it more likely you will eat there?

This poll ended on 25 January 2014.

Current Results

Yes

44%

No

55%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Have your say by commenting below! Do you think there are too many fast-food outlets in the Gladstone region? Would you prefer if there were more healthy options?



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