Lifestyle

'Ban our fat Qld kids from soft drink and fruit juice'

QUEENSLAND will not consider new healthy eating laws to tackle what Health Minister Lawrence Springborg is calling "the fat epidemic".

The minister's comments came just hours after Queensland Health chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young challenged parents to ban their children from drinking soft drinks and fruit juices.

Dr Young made the plea as she released The Health Of Queenslanders 2012 report, which found one-in-10 children was obese and one-in-five was overweight.

It found a total of 200,000 Queensland children were too heavy to be healthy.

Mr Springborg said it was up to parents to take responsibility to ensure healthy eating at home.

The Government would bolster this by working with the other States to confront the growing health crisis.

More than half the State's health budget, he said, was being spent on "preventable lifestyle illnesses".

"We are talking a cost of billions and billions of dollars in our health system alone.

"A tax can only happen at a national level and I'm not going to go there.

"Certainly, the issue of education can work a bit but it's not often the best lever to bring about behavioural change.

"Regulation of tobacco brought about extraordinary behavioural change, as did taxation."

Mr Springborg was unsure if such radical reform would ever be rolled out to cover food.

But at the launch of the report on Wednesday, Dr Young did not sugarcoat the problem.

"Excess weight in childhood puts our children at higher risk of adult obesity and chronic disease," Dr Young said.

"Unfortunately, it sets them up with bad habits that last a lifetime."

Dr Young blamed junk food advertising, celebrity endorsement of unhealthy products and prizes including fast food for contributing to the problem.

"There is only so much that governments can do," she said.

"In the end, it is the parents or carers who choose what to put in their children's mouths."

The Australian Beverage Council - which represents Coca-Cola, Pepsi and a range of soft drink, juice and cordial companies - said it was disappointed with Dr Young's "simplistic approach" of advocating a blanket ban.

Chief executive Geoff Parker said the real issue was ensuring a balance between activity and what a child was consuming.

The report in full is available at www.health.qld.gov.au/ under "What's New".

 

FAT FACTS

  • Only 60% of children eat enough fruit.
  • Just 29% eat enough vegetables.
  • 50% eat takeaway at least once a week.
  • Less than 50%of Queensland children are active for an hour a day.
  • 43% spent more than two hours a day using a screen for entertainment (not education).

Topics:  children, obesity




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

3 easy dinner recipes your kids will love, and so will you

No Caption

THERE is a middle ground! Dinners fit for kids and adults.

How to reduce your child's risk of food allergies

ABOUT 90% of food allergies are caused by just seven foods.

5 good mental health habits for kids (and parents)

CRYING OUT FOR HELP: The demand for counselling support for children and young people is increasing.

FORMING good habits early is critical for your child's mental health.

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Susie O'Neill: Why I stopped smacking my children

Swimming legend Susie O'Neill says she has stopped smacking her kids.

“I (smacked) because that’s what I knew growing up."

Introducing a step-parent into the family

Introducing a step-parent into the family can be stressful for the children, as well as the new parent.

THERE is no easy way to introduce a step parent into the family.

Hospital expansion adds 81 new beds

HEALTHY INVESTMENT: Mayor Paul Pisasale with St Andrews Private Hospital CEO Chris Went looking over building plans for the new section of the hospital which will see capacity double.

Private hospital's $64 million revamp brings more services

Maughan the first senator

OLD WORLD: Dirt roads, horses and buggies and pedestrians, were common on Limestone Hill in the early 1900s.

He was elected in 1899

LNP promise to upgrade roads for heavy vehicle management

LNP Candidate for Blair Teresa Harding announced the new road funding with Somerset Regional Council Mayor, Graeme Lehmann.

The LNP has pledged cash to improve Ipswich roads

Latest deals and offers

Justice Lucy McCallum

Justice Lucy McCallum

Justice Lucy McCallum says she reduced Oliver Curtis's sentence due to comments...

Perisher has 50cm of snow

Resort to open after 50cm of snow.

Smiggin Holes and Blue Cow to open after 50cm of snaow falls in Perisher valley.

Hey Mumma Exercise

Do you think kids these days need more exercise?

Do you think kids these days need more exercise?

Is this state’s cheapest house?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward

Rockhampton property in a lull, but a change is coming

Rockhampton's housing market in "pre-election mode"