Obesity epidemic could cost Gladstone $33 million a year

OBESITY could cost Gladstone an alarming $33 million a year unless urgent action is taken, according to new figures released by Diabetes Queensland on Wednesday.

Diabetes Queensland acting chief operations officer Lucille Chalmers said the obesity epidemic had called for the need for a co-ordinated multi-level response.

"According to statistics released by Queensland Health earlier this year, almost 23% of Gladstone's residents are obese," she said.

And obesity care currently costs the Gladstone community more than $13 million each year.

But the most concerning fact is the additional 34.7% of residents who fall into the overweight category.

"If we can't stop these people from sliding into the obese category, then the obesity bill will rise to a frightening $33 million per annum."

Her concern surrounds the need for funding of important community upgrades, which will instead be spent on the obesity epidemic.

"That money could help fund the redevelopment of the Philip St precinct and the upgrade of the Kin Kora roundabout."

Ms Chalmers said a co-ordinated response, incorporating all levels of government, private and individual sectors, was essential to preventing costs from spiralling out of control.

"Obesity is not a small problem; more than half of the people in the Gladstone community are obese or overweight," she said.

Queensland's chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young pinned the problem of obesity on eating too much and not exercising enough.

However, Gladstone hasn't got the problem on its own.

Dr Young said 65% of people in central Queensland were overweight or obese, compared to 58% in Queensland.

She said the prevalence of overweight people increased chances of more admissions to hospital, which would double in the future if nothing was done.

Do you agree the majority of CQ residents are overweight?

This poll ended on 22 June 2013.

Current Results

Yes, it's embarrassing

40%

Yes, but no more than anywhere else in Qld

30%

No, we're healthy compared to other places

0%

No, it's just the guidelines they use to classify weight

30%

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



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