REVEALED: How fat Gympie really is
GYMPIE'S expanding weight problem is in the spotlight with new data revealing more than two thirds of the region's adults and a quarter of its children are overweight or obese.
The Mitchell Institute's Australia Health Tracker has revealed 36 per cent of Gympie's adults are obese, five points higher than the state's average.
When the category is expanded to include overweight adults, the number rockets to 68 per cent, or almost 26,000 of the region's population.
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The numbers are not much prettier for among the region's children.
Almost 9 per cent of Gympie's youth are obese; the number expands to 25 per cent when those overweight are factored in.
Gympie's overweight and obese population is higher than the state average across all categories, but slightly lower than the rural and remote adult obesity rate of 40 per cent.
Overall, the country's obesity rate has ballooned 27 per cent in the past decade.
Professor Rosemary Calder said "we have spent too long as a nation expecting individuals to be able to change their behaviour to reduce their weight.
"However, the evidence is very clear that this has little chance of success without a very strong focus on the environmental factors in the places where we live that contribute to poor nutrition and inactivity.”
She said places with the highest rates of obesity have much higher rates of smoking, inactivity and chronic illness and are largely low socio-economic communities, highlighting the impact of poverty on health.