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Obesity and Overweight statistics for Bega Valley and Bombala

Photo: FILE.
Photo: FILE.

More than half the people who live in the Bega Valley and Bombala Local Government Areas are overweight or obese.

A whopping 65.1 per cent of people in the Bega Valley are in one of the two worrying weight categories, as are 72.9 per cent of people in Bombala.

Also alarmingly, 70 per cent of Bega Valley residents and 79.6 per cent of Bombala residents reported they did little to no exercise in the week before the data was collected.

The data was released by the Mitchell institute at Victoria University ahead of World Obesity Day, which was on Friday.

Professor Rosemary Calder from the Mitchell Institute believes action is needed to focus prevention strategies in disadvantaged communities, adding wealthier suburbs in metropolitan areas have a lower obesity rate because they are well serviced by public transport and bike paths and healthier food.

"[These places] are relatively close to where people work which enables people to be physically active in their commute to work rather than rely on the car," she said.

"They have a greater density of shops selling fresh fruit and veg, greater competition promoting lower prices for healthy foods and fewer fast food outlets."

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Professor Calder said local governments need to be doing more.

"Local governments are critical to local planning and the creation of health and active spaces for their residents. However, they are often hampered by lack of funding and regulatory power," she said.

The data shows the national obesity rate has risen 27 per cent over the past 10 years, and two thirds of Australians are overweight or obese.

The data by area is from 2014-2015, national average overweight and obesity is from 2017-2018. Sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

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This story Obese-city: How do the Far South Coast's health rates compare? first appeared on Bega District News.

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