Scales tip with obe­sity statis­tic

Gatton Star - - NEWS - Meg Bolton Meg.bolton@gat­ton­

STAG­GER­ING fig­ures re­leased by West More­ton Health show one in three peo­ple in the re­gion are obese, 42 per cent higher than the state av­er­age.

The sta­tis­tics were re­leased as part of the strate­gic plan for the next three years, which looks at re­duc­ing the $1.72 bil­lion obe­sity bur­den placed on Queens­land in 2015.

West More­ton Health Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Med­i­cal Ser­vices Eleri Car­ra­har said the 2017-2021 Strate­gic Plan was de­vel­oped in re­sponse to health chal­lenges iden­ti­fied in the re­gion.

“West More­ton re­gion is more dis­ad­van­taged com­pared to Queens­land as a whole,” Dr Car­ra­har said.

“It has the fastest grow­ing pop­u­la­tion of any health ser­vice within Queens­land, with the pop­u­la­tion set to in­crease by 113 per cent by 2036.”

The study found al­most 50 per cent of res­i­dents in the West More­ton Health re­gion were dy­ing pre­ma­turely.

“The health sta­tus and bur­den of dis­ease for the West More­ton pop­u­la­tion is in most in­stances worse than the Queens­land av­er­age,” Dr Car­ra­har said.

“(A to­tal of ) 46 per cent of deaths within 2011-2012 pe­riod in West More­ton were pre­ma­ture, which is de­fined as deaths that oc­cur in a per­son aged less than 75 years of age.”

Ma­lig­nant can­cers and car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease were the lead­ing causes of death in the state, ac­count­ing for a com­bined to­tal of 62 per cent.

The plan de­tails a re­sponse to the con­cern­ing fig­ures, with the health body plan­ning to pro­vide sup­port closer to home.

But with drafts for the new hospi­tal in the Lock­yer Valley yet to be ap­proved, res­i­dents will travel to receive most of their health care for the next decade.

The new hospi­tal is part of a 15-year plan based on pre­dicted pop­u­la­tion growth and health needs in the re­gion.

“West More­ton Health shares a com­mon goal with many of its health part­ners, in­clud­ing... (the coun­cil), to help shape a health­ier, hap­pier com­mu­nity,” Dr Car­ra­har said.

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