World Obesity Day: Community action key to beating epidemic

This World Obesity Day (Sunday, October 11), Cancer Council Queensland is calling on Queenslanders to take action against obesity.

Queensland is the heaviest state in Australia, with around 40,000 Queenslanders becoming obese every year.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift urged Queenslanders to exercise more, eat less junk food and maintain a healthy weight.

“One in four deaths in Queensland is directly or indirectly caused by an unhealthy diet,” she said.

“We must work together to find ways of getting people moving more and eating less unhealthy food. We must take positive action and demonstrate that we can make progress through simple lifestyle changes.

“Overweight and obesity increases the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases and the epidemic threatens our productivity and hampers our health system.

“This World Obesity Day we’re calling on workplaces, schools, community groups, health authorities, and governments to focus on making change.

“Together we can encourage our communities to work towards a healthy weight, limit sedentary behaviour and boost health and happiness through physical activity and a healthy diet.”

Queensland has the highest rates of both adult and child obesity nationally, with 65 per cent of adults and 28 per cent of children weighing in as overweight or obese.

In Australia in 2010, the World Health Organisation** estimated around 75.7 per cent of men and 66.5 per cent of women over the age of 15 were overweight or obese.

“The good news is that overweight and obesity can be prevented and reversed,” Ms Clift said.

“Limiting energy intake from total fats and sugars, increasing the consumption of healthy foods like fruit and vegetables and engaging in regular physical activity are key to reducing overweight and obesity in our community.”

Up to one third of all cancer cases are preventable through healthy lifestyle choices – including quitting smoking, ensuring a healthy diet, limiting alcohol, being active and maintaining a healthy weight.

Queenslanders can join the QUEST to reduce their risk of cancer at

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

For more information, please contact:

Kim Ryan, Senior Media Specialist, Cancer Council Queensland

P. (07) 3634 5239 M. 0488 015 702

*Fifth report of the Chief Health Officer Queensland, The Health of Queenslanders Report 2014.

**WHO Global Infobase