North Queensland holds top adult obesity rate in state

Cancer Council has expressed urgent concern over the latest adult obesity figures released for Queensland, showing North Queenslanders have the second highest rate in the country.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s Healthy Communities: Overweight and obesity rates across Australia, 2014–15, was released today, finding North Queensland adults are the most obese in Queensland.

The report found more than 37 per cent of North Queensland adults are obese, 10 per cent higher than the national average of about 27 per cent.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said being overweight or obese increased the risk of developing cancer.

“Growing rates of overweight and obesity in Queensland are a serious issue – being an unhealthy weight can greatly increase the risk of being diagnosed with chronic disease,” Ms Clift said.

“The report found about 65 per cent of North Queensland adults are overweight or obese, which could be putting their lives at risk.

“We need to make the healthy choice the easy choice for all North Queenslanders, assisting them to make the best lifestyle decisions.”

At least one third of all cancers are preventable, through simple lifestyle changes including maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet and being active daily.

Cancer Council encourages all Queenslanders to be active on most, if not all, days of the week.

“It’s crucial that we incorporate exercise as part of our daily routine, burning off any extra calories we may be eating – especially during the festive season,” Ms Clift said.

“Start at 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity everyday – walking, housework or even gardening – and aim for 60 minutes of exercise a day to further reduce your cancer risk.

“It’s crucial for North Queensland adults to eat the recommended two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables daily, and to follow the Australian Dietary Guidelines.

“Eat plenty of vegetables, fruit, grain foods, lean meats and poultry, legumes and beans, and milk, yoghurt and cheese.

“It’s important to limit intake of foods containing saturated fat, added salt, added sugars and alcohol for overall health and happiness.”

“Limiting alcohol and avoiding soft drink will also reduce the risk of preventable cancers, and boost overall wellbeing in the short and long term.”

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available via 13 11 20 or

For more information or interviews, please contact:
Katie Clift,
Executive Manager,
Media and Spokesperson,
Cancer Council Queensland
Phone: (07) 3634 5372
Mobile: 0409 001 171