Queensland now second in Australia for obesity

2 minute read

Less than a quarter of Queenslanders meet the national guidelines for physical activity, new ABS data has revealed.

Queensland has the second highest obesity rate in Australia with less than a third of adults living with a healthy weight – but state health agencies are fighting back.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics National Health Survey released last month showed that 35% of Queensland adults had a BMI of 30 or higher, with less than a quarter of adults meeting the federal government’s 2014 guidelines for physical activity and exercise.

Queensland also had the highest proportion of adults at a substantially increased risk of disease from an enlarged waist circumference nationwide with 51% of Queenslanders at risk.

Tasmania had the highest rate of obesity with 37% of adults reporting a BMI of 30 or higher, while the ACT had the lowest rate with just under 30% of adults reporting a BMI of 30 or higher.

In response to the findings, Queensland Health and prevention agency Health and Wellbeing Queensland drafted a prevention strategic framework aimed at reducing obesity rates and increasing uptake of healthy behaviours.

The Making Healthy Happen strategy, which also forms the state’s response to the National Obesity Strategy, is currently under consideration by Queensland government.

Obesity-related illness is estimated to cost the Queensland healthcare system around $756 million a year, with a total economic impact on the state’s economy pegged at $11.2 billion.

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