Nation's fattest

MARYBOROUGH has one of the highest rates of obesity anywhere in the nation.

The unwelcome acknowledgment came in a recent study from the Public Health Information Development Unit, based at Adelaide University.

Researchers say the problem has escalated to the point where one in every four people in the city is alarmingly overweight - making it Australia's fourth fattest population per capita.

In contrast, neighbouring Hervey Bay residents are one of Queensland's most healthy in terms of their average weight.

Bay citizens had the sixth best rate of people said to be of normal weight anywhere in the state.

Fraser Coast Regional Council's George Seymour, who handles the Communities, Cultural and Family Services portfolio, agreed the information was concerning.

"We're certainly putting together a lot of healthy living initiatives and trying to get people more active, and this is something we will have to look at," Cr Seymour said.

"I am going to have a look at this study in more detail and perhaps we need to have a greater focus in Maryborough on healthy living."

Also revealed in the research, and just as worrying, was the seemingly ongoing popularity of smoking in the Fraser Coast.

While people in many other parts of the country appear to be heeding warnings and kicking the habit, it does not seem to be the case in this region.

Hervey Bay (seven) and Maryborough (eight) both made Queensland's top 10 for highest rates of smoking, with one in every four people likely to participate in the toxic habit.

Bundaberg was declared the nation's most obese capital.



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