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McDonald's home delivery feeds Hervey Bay obesity debate

DID McDonald's pick Hervey Bay as its first Queensland destination to offer delivery service based on the region's high obesity rate?

Australian Medical Association president-elect for Queensland Dr Shaun Rudd seems to think so and says the residents are being exploited.

"I think it's unfortunate that they target Hervey Bay as the first place to introduce the service as we already have a major problem with people being overweight and obese," Dr Rudd said.

With 65% of adults in the Fraser Coast being overweight and, the number is set to increase, he fears.

"The overweight people are not the only ones affected, the unemployed and the disabled who are finding it difficult to afford good nutritious food will also be a target."

Dr Rudd believes that by increasing easy access to cheap, unhealthy food like burgers and fries, it only makes people fatter.

"Two out of three adults in the Wide Bay are overweight already so this tends to make things worse," he said.

While there's no stopping McDonald's from doing what it can do, Dr Rudd is urging overweight people to consult their general practitioner and to work towards losing weight.

"If you are obese you need to be aware that it's going to lead you to have decreased quality of life and a decreased length of life and that's the reality of it."

Cancer Council Queensland and Diabetes Queensland have also sounded a warning on potentially harmful health impacts to Hervey Bay residents.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said the expansion of home delivery services for fast food would promote unhealthy eating and sedentary behaviours.

"Introducing fast food home delivery to our doorsteps will undermine current initiatives to improve community health, with potential to worsen the overweight epidemic", Ms Clift said.

"We are concerned with proposals to see fast food chains infiltrating our homes and potentially influencing the future lifestyle choices of our children and young people.

"The likely consequence will be an increasing need for tax-payer funding to be used in treating the costs of obesity and overweight, and greater public spending on anti-obesity campaigns.

"So while french fries might be delivered cheap to your door, the added costs will weigh up heavily."

Diabetes Queensland CEO Michelle Trute fears this move by McDonald's could impact the health of the community and is urging people not to choose convenience over their health.

"There is no place for fast food in the Australian diet. While the humble hamburger may seem harmless, it takes 91 minutes of running to burn off the average burger with chips," she said.

Topics:  ama, hervey, mcdonalds



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