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




Introducing Winter, Diesel, Rusty and Benson

Winter is coming - hopefully to a home with you. But don't worry, I won't bring cold and terror to your lives (like on Game of Thrones). My aim is to bring you love and fun . I am full of beans and ready for adventure .

Phone the RSPCA on 3426 9999 for more details about these animals

Latest deals and offers

Recycling your childhood faves

GHOST GIRL: Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig and Leslie Jones in a scene from Ghostbusters.

Everything that's old is new again

Guy Sebastian a hit at Splendour in the Grass

Guy Sebastian performs at Splendour in the Grass with Paces.

REALITY TV judge a hit with festival crowd.

Superheroes of the big screen enjoy sounds of Splendour

CHRIS Hemsworth and his Avengers mates drop by Byron festival.

Indigenous artist shows tourists secrets of Aboriginal painting

Ever thought "I could do that" about Aboriginal art?

Dynamic pics from Splendour Day 1

The Strokes perform at Splendour in the Grass 2016. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Check out the latest pictures from Splendour in the Grass.

Bindi Irwin: 18 magic photos to mark her 18th birthday

Bindi Irwin with a python.

Photos: Bindi Irwin from babyhood to 18

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles