The State Government has released a new Healthier, Happier campaign that will assist two-thirds of Queenslanders fight against obesity.

Diabetes Queensland has welcomed the State Government’s new Healthier. Happier campaign that will encourage Queenslanders to eat less, eat better and get active.

Diabetes Queensland CEO Michelle Trute says it is not an overstatement to say the obesity epidemic is the single, biggest threat to the health of Queenslanders, with two-thirds of the state overweight or obese.

“We know obesity is a major factor in a number of chronic diseases including some cancers, heart disease and the world’s fastest growing chronic disease type 2 diabetes,”she says.

Ms Trute says obesity costs the Queensland economy around $11.6 billion per annum and that successful campaigns were one part of an integrated strategy.

“Anything that raises awareness of the issues and prompts people to think seriously about their own health and behaviour is welcome.

“Diabetes Queensland hopes the next steps include government interventions, such as a ban on fast food advertising to children and regulation of sugary drinks,”she says.

She says Diabetes Queensland has its own Eat It program that helps people make healthier choices, Need for Feed, which teaches children valuable nutrition and cooking skills and the Swap It program, which has helped more than 8000 Queenslanders live healthier.

While obesity is a complex issue, Ms Trute suggests success with other complex issues, such as smoking, have proved behaviour change is possible.

“Hopefully in future years when we are all living healthier, more active lives, we can look back at this campaign as a moment when we, as a community, really started to change our behaviour.”