Kwinana lives lighter to tackle obesity
Kwinana has been identified as having one of the highest number of obese and overweight adults in Greater Perth. Recent data from the Australian Health Policy Collaboration, highlights the healthiest and unhealthiest suburbs across Australia via Australia’s Health Tracker and shows that, in Kwinana, over 68% of adults are obese and overweight.
“Being overweight increases the risk of developing chronic disease such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and several cancers,” says Maria Szybiak of LiveLighter, “It also increases your chance of developing high blood pressure, gall bladder disease, gout, impaired fertility, lower back pain, osteoarthritis and many other health problems.”
Fortunately, the City of Kwinana have been making changes, working with LiveLighter, schools and community groups to get the healthy lifestyle message through.
City of Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams said the City was working towards reversing this trend through the Kwinana Healthy Lifestyles Plan.
“The aim of the Healthy Lifestyles Plan is to create a community in which every resident has the opportunity to choose a healthy lifestyle.”
“We are increasing low-cost health and fitness options across Kwinana, with a focus on groups who traditionally face barriers to improving their health. Programs such as Active Women’s for women with children, Senior Sational, and FoodREDi adult cooking classes have all proven successful.”
These projects are important. Encouraging residents to eat healthy foods and increase their physically active everyday helps to achieve a healthier lifestyle with the added benefit of lowering the risk of developing chronic disease.
“The health risks of obesity are not exclusive to Kwinana. Over two thirds of Australian adults are obese and overweight,” says Maria Szybiak, Live Lighter’s Campaign Director, “Building strong relationships with local communities is a crucial step in tackling the obesity issue."