SU­PER SIZE ME

OBE­SITY FIG­URES PROMPT NEED FOR FUR­NI­TURE MOD­I­FI­CA­TIONS IN HOS­PI­TALS

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - Ali­son Bald­ing

WIDER door­ways, hardier fur­ni­ture and cus­tom-built bath­rooms are be­ing in­stalled in Western Syd­ney hos­pi­tals in re­sponse to star­tling new data.

More than 66 per cent of adults in the Black­town area are over­weight or obese, the latest fig­ures re­veal.

WIDER door­ways, stronger fur­ni­ture and cus­tom-de­signed bath­rooms are be­ing in­stalled at Western Syd­ney hos­pi­tals in re­sponse to some fat­ten­ing fig­ures.

More than 66 per cent of res­i­dents aged 18 or over in the Black­town lo­cal gov­ern­ment area are over­weight or obese, the latest Western Syd­ney Lo­cal Health Dis­trict fig­ures re­veal.

The fig­ures are par­tic­u­larly alarm­ing when com­pared to the rest of NSW, where 52.5 per cent of peo­ple aged 16 or over are classed as over­weight or obese.

De­spite ini­tia­tives be­ing run in schools across NSW to com­bat the grow­ing num­ber of peo­ple be­ing classed as obese, fig­ures con­tinue to paint a bleak pic­ture of the area’s health.

WSLHD tran­si­tion man­ager Peter Rophail said Mt Druitt Hos­pi­tal al­ready has a room specif­i­cally de­signed to ac­com­mo­date pa­tients weigh­ing more than 12kg and up to 500kg.

“The room was con­structed as part of the re­cent hos­pi­tal ex­pan­sion and opened in 2014,” Mr Rophail said.

He said the new Clin­i­cal Ser­vices Build­ing at Black­town Hos­pi­tal will open sev­eral sim­i­lar rooms next year as part of ren­o­va­tions at the site.

“These rooms will in­clude spe­cialised beds, lift­ing equip­ment, as well as wider door­ways and cus­tom-de­signed bath­rooms,” Mr Rophail said. “At both hos­pi­tals, a mix of fur­ni­ture in public ar­eas has been and will be pro­vided, for visi­tors who may weigh more than 120kg.”

WSLHD Cen­tre for Pop­u­la­tion Health deputy di­rec­tor Chris­tine New­man said there were sev­eral risk fac­tors which could lead to peo­ple be­com­ing over­weight or obese.

“Only 7.7 per cent of peo­ple are eat­ing the rec­om­mended daily amount of veg­eta­bles while just over half (53.4 per cent) are eat­ing the rec­om­mended daily serve of fruit,” Ms New­man said. “Ex­er­cise is another con­cern – only 54.1 per cent of peo­ple are en­gag­ing in the rec­om­mended daily level of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity.”

Healthy liv­ing pro­gram of­fi­cer Rochelle McCook rec­om­mends fo­cus­ing on eat­ing a bal­anced, nu­tri­tious diet and be­ing phys­i­cally ac­tive to achieve a healthy weight and re­duce the risk of chronic dis­ease.

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