Central West health authorities are reminding local communities that unhealthy behaviours can lead to potentially preventable hospitalisations and premature death.

The warning comes in the wake of a recently released report that shows 2 in 3 adults and 1 in 4 children in Queensland are considered overweight or obese.

The Changes in weight status of children and adults in Queensland and Australia report provides an insight into the extent of obesity throughout the nation.

Central West Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Jane Hancock said the report did not contain specific statistics for the region because of the difficulty of collecting actual weight data in rural and remote areas.

“However, we know from the 2018 Queensland Chief Health Officer’s Report that 36 per cent of people in the Central West self-reported as having an unhealthy weight, including children aged 5–17 years,’’ she said.

“The difference between the two reports is that the national report contains actual recorded weight data, whereas the Chief Health Officer’s report contains self-reported data.

“Nevertheless, the fact that 36 per cent of Central West residents consider themselves overweight is worrying.

“Just as worrying is that this percentage was 3 per cent higher than self-reported in the previous 2016 Chief Health Officer report.’’

Ms Hancock said unhealthy behaviours such as poor eating habits and inactivity could and did lead to potentially preventable hospitalisations and premature deaths.

“They pose a significant challenge for our health service, as they do for all health services, and they do increase the pressure on our services,’’ she said.

“But you don’t have to accept these unhealthy lifestyle behaviours. You have the power to make changes and we can help you if you genuinely want to do so.

“I encourage everyone to be more active, eat healthier and make small behavioural changes to improve their health.

“For instance, according to the 2018 Chief Health Officer’s report, young people aged 5 to 17 years in the Central West ate only about 3.2 serves of fruit and vegetables daily, compared with about 4.1 daily serves for Queensland on average.

“Eating more fruit and vegetables and finding ways to be more active in your daily life are just two simple things you can do to improve your health.

“But we recognise this can be difficult. Fortunately, there are several programs available to help people lose weight and develop healthier eating habits, as well as get more active.

“It’s everyone’s responsibility to take care of their health and working with your GP or local health service is an excellent place to start.

“We’re here to help you.

“You can also use the State Government’s Healthier. Happier. campaign to help you perform an honest assessment of your diet and lifestyle and find ways to improve your health.

“On the Healthier. Happier. website, there’s a new program called Happy Health Habit Selector where you can pick three things you like doing out of a range of options and the website will deliver more information and tips about those activities.

“For instance, if one of the three healthy habits you choose is home cooking, you’ll get a range of information about the health benefits of fresh produce and cooking at home, as well as useful recipes.

“Using the Happy Healthy Habits selector at the Healthier. Happier. website is a great way to start and it’s easy.’’