State’s fattest right here

The Perth South Coastal catchment (encompassing the City of Rockingham, City of Kwinana, City of Mandurah, Shire of Murray and the Shire of Waroona) has topped the scales with an obesity rate of 38 per cent, according to research released by the National Health Performance Authority.

The number of people who are overweight in the area is around 34 per cent. We’ve tied with three other areas to take out the spot of the fourth-fattest in the country, and there’s no sign of it slowing down.

In 2011″12, almost three in 10 adults (28 per cent) were obese compared to one in 10 (11 per cent) in 1989.

Based on these figures, around 127,000 people in the Perth South Coastal area are overweight or obese.

In 2011″12, 10.8 million adults were either overweight or obese, and of these 4.7 million were obese.

The percentage of adults who were overweight or obese increased with geographic remoteness and lower socio-economic status.

Diabetes WA general manager of health services Helen Mitchell, said there was a strong correlation between high obesity levels and the number of people with type 2 diabetes.

‘A diagnosis of diabetes is serious and can lead to life-threatening complications such as heart disease or kidney failure,’ she explained.

‘These figures clearly show a high number of people are heading down that path and should be focusing on making changes to improve their health.’ The risk of developing type 2 diabetes can be reduced by up to 60 per cent by maintaining a healthy weight, being active and eating healthily.

Obesity imposed an estimated $2 billion in direct costs on Australia’s health system in 2008, and obese people face health care costs around 30 per cent higher.

According to information from the Public Health Information Division Unit, 18.7 in 100 adult women were predicted to be obese in the PSCML region, compared to 15.1 in Metro Perth and 15.8 in WA.