Snapshot: Queensland’s health

  • Less than a third of Queensland adults are living with a healthy weight  
  • Queenslanders eat fewer vegetables than people in any other state or territory
  • Less than a quarter of Queensland adults meet the physical activity guidelines

Queensland now has the second highest rate of obesity in Australia (34.6%) with less than a third of Queensland adults living with a healthy weight (28.3%).

The Australian Bureau of Statistics National Health Survey released last month also revealed Queensland has the highest rate of adults at a substantially increased risk of disease from an enlarged waist circumference (50.7%).

Obesity-related illness costs the Queensland healthcare system an estimated $756 million a year and has a total financial impact on the Queensland economy of $11.2 billion.

Health and Wellbeing Queensland, the state’s prevention agency, is working to address the significant challenges to reduce and prevent obesity and improve healthy behaviours such as vegetable and fruit consumption.

The draft Making Healthy Happen strategy, which is Queensland’s response to the National Obesity Strategy, is with the Queensland Government for consideration.

Health and Wellbeing Queensland senior public health nutritionist Rebecca Farletti said while many factors influenced obesity, the new year was a chance to adopt healthy behaviours.

‘There’s no better time than right now to think about the changes we can make towards better health for ourselves and our families,’ Ms Farletti said.

‘A great place to start is adding one serve of vegetables to one meal each day. It’s a small change that can have such a positive impact on our health.

‘The more you can move throughout the day, the better. Set yourself a goal, like aiming for 10,000 steps a day, and work towards it week by week.’

Only 1 in 15 Australians eat enough vegetables (6.5%), with Queenslanders eating fewer vegetables than people in any other state or territory (5.1%).

More Queensland adults (aged 18 to 64 years old) are being active and meeting the physical activity guidelines (23.6%), however almost half of adults spend their day sitting at work.

Health and Wellbeing Queensland invests more than $20 million annually to shift the dial on obesity, and currently reaches 430,000 adults through its prevention programs and 25,000 primary school students through its healthy eating school program Pick of the Crop.

Media contact:

Sarah Motherwell, Senior Media Advisor

0439 599 210