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Cancer Council hits out at fast food delivery services

CANCER Council Queensland has sounded the horn on potentially harmful health impacts from the rollout of fast food home delivery services in Queensland.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said the expansion of home delivery services for fast food would promote unhealthy eating and sedentary behaviours. 

"The Queensland community needs all the help it can get to fight our current obesity crisis," Ms Clift said.

"Introducing fast food home delivery to Queensland doorsteps will undermine current initiatives to improve community health, with potential to worsen the overweight epidemic.

"It is especially alarming that the trial will occur in one of Queensland's most obese and overweight areas, targeting those who are already at an extremely high risk of lifestyle-related chronic disease.

"There can be little doubt that those who are most vulnerable will be Queenslanders living in socio-economically disadvantaged areas, areas that already have higher rates of illness and disease than the Queensland average."

The call comes after McDonalds announced it was introducing home deliveries in Hervey Bay and has home delivery services in Sydney.

At least seven Sydney McDonald's restaurants offer home delivery, and McDonald's has confirmed the first Victorian, Queensland and Western Australian trials will begin later this month.

Ms Clift said being overweight or obese could lead to a range of chronic diseases, including cancer.

"We are concerned with proposals to see fast food chains infiltrating our homes and potentially influencing the future lifestyle choices of our children and young people.

"We need to do better at helping Queenslanders make the healthy choice the easy choice.

"The introduction of fast food home delivery is detrimental to a healthy diet.

"The likely consequence will be an increasing need for tax-payer funding to be used in treating the costs of obesity and overweight, and greater public spending on anti-obesity campaigns.

"So while french fries might be delivered cheap to your door, the added costs will weigh up heavily."

Around 65 per cent of Rockhampton adults are overweight or obese, with more than 74 per cent of adults aged 35-54 years tipping the scales at an unhealthy weight.

Cancer Council Queensland also voiced concerns over mandatory minimum spending requirements for home delivery.

"Minimum spending requirements for fast food are designed to get consumers to purchase more food than usual to make the limit, and potentially overeat.

"Home delivery removes more barriers and makes it easier for Queenslanders to access fast, fatty, salty and unhealthy food.

"Making fresh, healthy, substantial food more available to the Queensland community is essential to help them live longer and enjoy better quality of life."

Queensland has the highest rate of obesity in Australia, 10 per cent higher than the national rate.

Around 65 per cent of Queensland adults and 27 per cent of Queensland children are overweight or obese.  

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at www.cancerqld.org.au or 13 11 20.

Statewide statistics:

  • Around 65 per cent of Fraser Coast adults are overweight or obese, with more than 70 per cent of males over 18 tipping the scales at an unhealthy weight.
  • Around 50 per cent of Brisbane adults are overweight or obese, with more than 60 per cent of adults over 55 tipping the scales at an unhealthy weight.
  • Around 62 per cent of Ipswich adults are overweight or obese, with more than 72 per cent of adults over 55 tipping the scales at an unhealthy weight.
  • Around 60 per cent of Mackay adults are overweight or obese, with more than 72 per cent of males over 18 tipping the scales at an unhealthy weight.
  • Around 65 per cent of Rockhampton adults are overweight or obese, with more than 74 per cent of adults aged 35-54 years tipping the scales at an unhealthy weight.
  • Around 63 per cent of Toowoomba adults are overweight or obese, with more than 67 per cent of males over 18 tipping the scales at an unhealthy weight.
  • Around 53 per cent of Sunshine Coast adults are overweight or obese, with more than 60 per cent of males over 18 tipping the scales at an unhealthy weight.

Topics:  cancer council queensland fast food health obesity



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