The National Health Performance Authority has found the Loddon Mallee Murray region had the highest obesity rate for the 2011-12 of all government local areas.By Renee Thompson
Residents in the Loddon Mallee Murray local area are the fattest in the nation, with a new report revealing more than four in 10 people in the region are obese.
The National Health Performance Authority report released on Thursday found Loddon Mallee Murray had the highest obesity rate for the 2011-12 period of all government local areas, with 41 per cent of adults considered obese.
The local area with the second highest obesity rate was Country South in South Australia (40 per cent) and the third highest Central Queensland (39 per cent).
The report also showed 70 per cent of the adult population in the Loddon Mallee Murray Medicare Local region were considered overweight.
Overweight participants were classified as having a body mass index greater than or equal to 25, while those with a BMI greater than or equal to 30 were classified as obese.
LMMML chief executive Matt Jones said the organisation had identified obesity as a major priority area.
‘‘The results of this healthy communities report reinforce the need for comprehensive efforts to reduce the number of people within our region who would be considered overweight or obese,’’ he said.
‘‘To have the highest rate of adult obesity in Australia is a major area of concern and an issue that is considered a high priority in our efforts to improve the health outcomes of our communities.’’
Mr Jones said the report’s findings confirmed people who lived in rural and regional areas were more likely to be overweight and obese than their metropolitan counterparts.
‘‘People living in regional and rural communities have less access to health services than their counterparts in metropolitan communities and, proportionately, we have more residents aged 50 and over than metropolitan communities, which impacts on obesity rates in rural areas,’’ he said.
‘‘Obesity is also a major contributing factor to high rates of illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in our region.’’
To view the NHPA report, visit www.nhpa.gov.au
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