Friday, January 9, 2009

Steady Rates Of Obesity Not Good Enough - Australian Medical Association

“Today's news that the rate of childhood obesity in Australia has not increased in the last decade must not detract from the urgent need to reduce childhood obesity. Research results released today by the University of South Australia found that obesity rates among children levelled off in the late 1990s and have remained steady since. AMA President, Dr Rosanna Capolingua, said this was good news but not the answer to the overall problem. ‘Nearly a quarter of Australian children are still overweight and 5-6% are obese - this is far too high,’ she said. ‘We can't be content with these statistics. We're talking about children who are at risk of serious health problems later in life.‘ ‘Overweight and obesity can carry on well into adulthood and increases the risk of developing serious chronic cardiovascular diseases.’ ‘Our goal must be to reduce the levels of overweight and obesity among Australian children. We need to continue to take action to bring these levels down now.’ The AMA's submission to the National Preventative Health Taskforce urged the Government to support the important work doctors do in helping parents and children reduce the risks of childhood obesity and to provide a healthy home environment for kids to grow up in. Dr Capolingua said doctors had the perfect opportunity to discuss preventative health measures with families and provide advice on how best to manage overweight or obesity.”

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