The AMA is warning Victorians to pay close attention to worrying statistics contained in the latest Victorian health Monitor Report.
The reports, launched today by Health Minister David Davis, show that one in four Victorians are now obese compared with only 1 in 5 in 1999.
AMA Victoria President Dr Stephen Parnis says that increasing rates of obesity are a worrying trend for the state.
“Obesity is the most pressing public health issue facing Victorians. People should be very concerned” said Dr Parnis after the release of today’s report.
“We’d hope that the message has been getting through on obesity, there is more information on making healthy eating choices available nowadays and yet we are seeing obesity rates going through the roof”.
Dr Parnis said that measures to improve obesity statistics should include better environmental planning, enhanced food labelling measures and persistent education on the triggers of obesity.
“We need to work to ensure that our urban and suburban environments encourage health and fitness. This means more parks, and facilities located in way that encourages walking, cycling and other exercise”.
“We’d also like to see measures like traffic light food labelling to encourage people to make healthy eating choices”.
“People located in more remote areas and those without access to education on these issues often experience worse health outcomes. The more people can make educated decisions about what they eat and how much exercise they should be getting, the healthier they will be”.
“The Government has a role to play in ensuring that food labelling is clear and indicates the nutritional content of food in a way that easy for adults and children to understand”.
“We need to ensure that children end up with good nutritional choices and learn to establish good eating habits at an early age. Prevention is always better than cure”.
The Victorian Health Monitor reports present prevalence estimates for diabetes, heart disease and indicators of chronic kidney disease in the adult population. Many of these findings are reported for the first time for Victoria. The full report can be found on the Department of Health Website at http://www.health.vic.gov.au/healthstatus/