How to junk the fast food and find health

THE availability of fast food in Gladstone makes it too easy to eat junk, local resident Chloe Noonan says.

Ms Noonan has been battling weight issues since she was a child, but has recently made strides in her battle against the bulge, losing 13kg since October.

She said getting drive-through was often an easier option than stopping and getting out, and that healthier options weren't always open at convenient times.

>> Gladstone is the fast food capital of Australia

Ms Noonan said fad diets on social media could be dangerous.

"I did one and wasn't getting enough of the food I needed so I was passing out," she said.

She said visiting the gym wasn't for everyone.

"Going to the gym as an overweight person is really scary because you feel like you're not accepted," she said.

"The fitness track (Happy Valley Park Fitness Trail) is great because different types of people go there."

She said seeing a dietician had really helped

Gladstone dietician Megan Leane said obesity was a real problem in the region.

"About 99% of my clients are obese and the rate in Gladstone is 11% higher than the national average at 39%," she said.

She said 27% of children were overweight in the region, which was 2% higher than the national average.

Ms Leane said the cause was hard to pin down to a single source.

"It's multi-factorial and can stem from things such as an emotional response to food like comfort eating, stress and a lack of time," she said.

"There are people who are doing enormous working hours and have no time to put in to choosing their food or cooking."

She said health professionals knew the answer.

"It's diet and exercise. If it's not that it won't work," she said.

She recommended that people follow the guide to healthy eating and visit

Gladstone dietitian Megan Leane is encouraging residents to eat healthy food to lose weight.
Gladstone dietitian Megan Leane is encouraging residents to eat healthy food to lose weight. Andrew Backhouse

Top doctor urges residents to lighten the load

A LEADING doctor is worried by central Queensland's burgeoning weight problem.

Dr Shaun Rudd, in his first major campaign since taking over the AMA Queensland presidency, said rural and regional Queenslanders waistbands were expanding too fast.

"On average, 67% of regional Queenslanders are overweight or obese," Dr Rudd said. "In central Queensland, 69% of the population or 107,000 people are overweight or obese.

"The statistics are even higher around Townsville and Mackay regions with 75% overweight or obese.

"That's 226,000 adults carrying too much weight."

Dr Rudd said obesity-related diseases increased and life expectancy dropped for regional residents.

He said men were more at risk than women.

Dr Rudd said the AMA Queensland video campaign - Lighten Your Load - should encourage regional communities to take up the war on wobble.

Author Sally Symonds, who grew up in regional Queensland, said she had struggled with her weight.

"By 2002, I was 106.5kg and was told I was morbidly obese and that I could die from being so overweight," she said.

"I managed to lose 45kg in 33 weeks, keep it off for five years and then lost another 8.5kg."

The director of a weight loss business said living outside of cities shouldn't be a barrier to keeping fit and healthy.

"Don't listen to all the must-do marketing tips from the fitness and weight loss industries," she said. "The ABC of weight loss is CDE - consistent daily effort."

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