Scott McCoombes is relaxed about his weight.
Scott McCoombes is relaxed about his weight. Sarah Harvey

Ipswich 'fattest place in SEQ'

IPSWICH is the fattest place in south-east Queensland with a whopping 62.4 per cent of people admitting to being overweight or obese.

A state-wide survey of almost 7000 people, including 600 in the Ipswich area, found the city was second only to Mt Isa on 62.5 per cent.

The overall figure for Queensland is 55.3 per cent.

The survey by Queensland Health also revealed a raft of worrying problems including depression and psychological distress.

It also found a high level of inactivity, smoking and alcohol consumption and a small number of people eating the required amount of fruit and veges.

The Self-Reported Adult Health Status Survey covers Ipswich and Toowoomba.

Ipswich and West Moreton Division of General Practice CEO Sharon Oxenbridge wasn’t surprised by the findings and said it was a concern.

“If people are obese or carrying a lot of weight there can be repercussion in other areas,” Ms Oxenbridge said.

“That includes diabetes and some forms of cancer are associated with obesity.”

She said was difficult to put her finger on the cause of Ipswich’s weighty problem..

“Areas of high obesity are often linked to low socio-economic conditions but that doesn’t necessarily apply to this area,” she said.

“I think it’s more indicative of the normal Western diet and attributable to our lifestyle.

“We have terrific areas in Ipswich and south-east Queensland with parks, walking groups and other fitness programs and the Ipswich Hospital Foundation does a lot of work to get the community fit and active.

“Obesity is becoming a national and international epidemic.”

Ms Oxenbridge said the Queensland Health figures should prompt people to take a long hard look at their figures.

“It’s a good time of the year for people to implement their New Year resolution and seek advice from their GP and avoid problems further down the track,” she said.

“The GP is often seen as the last port of call when they fall ill, in this case from being obese. We would encourage people to go to the GP first.”

Ipswich man Scott McCoombes admitted to being overweight but clearly didn’t mind as he played poker with his mates yesterday.

“I’m the butt of pretty much every joke in this place. It’s all right though. I don’t mind,” he said.

“I am what I am. My attitude is full of life with no worries.”

Asks what he weighed, Mr McCoombes, who turns 27 tomorrow, said: “A lot”.

“When I was young I was lighter but I just let myself go I guess,” he said.

Figures in the health survey covering Ipswich include:

  • 9% of people eat recommended serves of fruit and veges
  • 20% smoke daily
  • 13.4% drink alcohol every day
  • 63.2 % do no vigorous physical activity.

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