We?re too fat: report



TOO many people in NSW are overweight, binge drinking, practising unsafe sex and not eating enough vegetables, new research shows.

A report into the health of almost 10,000 adults throughout the state in 2004, released yesterday, shows nearly half of NSW residents, or 48.4 per cent, are overweight or obese.

The survey also showed only 8.2 per cent of NSW adults eat the recommended daily intake of vegetables and 13.5 per cent had engaged in high-risk drinking in the previous four weeks.

Around one in 10 people aged 16-24 years, from throughout the state, were also found to practise unsafe sex.

NSW Health Minister John Hatzistergos yesterday said the results were disturbing.

"By engaging in high-risk behaviour like binge drinking, unsafe sex, poor diet and lack of exercise, people are creating their own personal health time bombs," Mr Hatzistergos said.

But Mr Hatzistergos said the survey, which was conducted between February and December 2004, showed some positives.

It revealed over 90 per cent of people rated hospital care as good or excellent.

Some 76 per cent of the state's seniors aged 65 and over were also found to have been immunised against influenza in the past 12 months.

But 6.3 per cent of participants had all their natural teeth missing.

"At the end of the day we are each responsible for our own health," Mr Hatzistergos said.

"As the baby-boomers start to age, our health system will come under enormous pressure trying to meet the demand for health care.

"We all know that old saying, 'An apple a day keeps the doctor away'.

"If we take action now to change our bad habits we can reduce the risk of ending up as yet another heart or liver disease statistic," he said.



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