The State Government has planned a shock tactic campaign to tackle obesity.
The State Government has planned a shock tactic campaign to tackle obesity.

Shock tactics used to tackle state's growing obesity crisis

A SHOCK new campaign featuring graphic images of "toxic" fat deposits inside the body will be launched by the State Government as it declares war on rising obesity rates.

However, chief health officer Jeannette Young would like to take the issue a step further and have graphic images of fat on junk food labels, similar to shock tactics used on cigarette packets.

Dr Young told News Ltd there was a case for the graphic images to appear on junk food packaging.

But while graphic images on junk food packaging could be a future option, she said stronger health messages about the risks of being overweight needed time to work first.

The new public health campaign will run for three years at a cost to the state of about $7.5 million.

Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said the anti-obesity campaign would be controversial, but existing approaches had failed.

"Some people won't like it, but then some people don't like the anti-smoking messages and they don't like the road safety messages," he said.

"But the road safety messages over the years have helped reduce our road toll by about 50% as our population has increased."

Obesity rates in Queensland have doubled since 1996 - or grown by 30,000 more obese adults each year.

Almost a third of Queensland adults were measured as obese in 2011-12, making Queensland the obesity capital of the nation. 

HUB Total Fitness personal trainer manager Sam Fowler and Brendan Fischer work out.
HUB Total Fitness personal trainer manager Sam Fowler and Brendan Fischer work out. Chris Chan

Personal trainer doesn't plan to return to obese ways

THERE'S little chance of personal trainer Sam Fowler reverting back to his old ways.

"I was morbidly obese ... I was drinking a dozen beers a night and smoking two packs of cigarettes a day," the 25-year-old said.

Tipping the scales at 118kg, Sam didn't realise he was overweight until a remark by a mate made him think differently.

Now 40kg lighter and working at Hub Total Fitness in Sun Valley, Sam is keen to change the mindset of his 60 clients.

Commenting on plans by the State Government to use shock tactics to tackle obesity, Sam said there definitely needed to be tighter restrictions on junk food packaging.

"Smoking is a drug. You will get addicted to it, and food has the same effect to some extent, but people have greater control over what they want to eat," he said.

Do you think shock tactics will be effective in tackling obesity?

This poll ended on 27 March 2013.

Current Results

Yes. They've worked for other health issues

4%

No. The issue is too complex

37%

They may work on some people, but not all

58%

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



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