Childhood obesity rates are higher in regional areas than in Brisbane.
Childhood obesity rates are higher in regional areas than in Brisbane. Zach Hogg BUN230314SFT3

How pollies will help keep kids healthy

LABOR plans to roll out a diabetes prevention program throughout regional Queensland to help reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Reducing childhood obesity needs to start in the home with parents and healthy eating, the LNP says.

On Friday, this paper's Fair Go For Our Kids campaign revealed there were higher rates of overweight or obese children in regional areas than in the cities. Childhood obesity can lead to a higher risk of developing chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes.

Queensland Health figures show in north Brisbane 21.5per cent of children are overweight or obese, compared to 23.3per cent on the Gold Coast, 26.2per cent in Wide Bay, 27.2per cent in Central Queensland, 27.3per cent on the Darling Downs, 27.6per cent in Mackay, 28per cent in Ipswich and 30.7per cent in Townsville.

Health Minister Cameron Dick said the $27.4million My Health for Life program had been launched in Wide Bay, Cairns, Gold Coast and Ipswich and would be expanded to Townsville, Rockhampton, Sunshine Coast, Mackay, Torres Strait, Mt Isa and Longreach.

"The program provides participants with the motivation and support needed to adopt and maintain healthy lifestyle behaviours such as eating a healthier diet, increasing physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing alcohol consumption and quitting smoking," he said.

"Already participants are reporting weight loss, increased levels of physical activity and improved mental well-being, and some have even referred to the program as personally life changing, so from everything we are hearing, we know this program is both efficient and effective in making real change happen for Queenslanders."


Mr Dick said Labor had established the Health Futures Commission aimed at reducing childhood obesity.

"In particular, it was planned that the commission would focus on reducing childhood obesity and increasing levels of physical activity of Queenslanders across the board. However, the LNP opposed the Bill to establish the commission," he said.

Opposition spokesman Jon Krause said an LNP government would "engage local communities" to tackle childhood obesity.

"Reducing childhood obesity needs to start in the home with parents and healthy eating," he said.

"An LNP Government would consider all options available to tackle type 2 diabetes in Queensland.

"We want to make sure kids in rural and remote communities have access to the $150 Get Started vouchers, which has been restricted through changes made by Labor.

"We will work with local communities across regional Queensland to ensure young people have access to activities and programs that encourage them to live healthy lifestyles." -NewsRegional