BEING overweight puts more people in hospital in Narrabri than any other area in the northern region.
NSW Health statistics from 2009-11 show in Narrabri, there were 783.6 hospitalisations related to being overweight or obese per 100,000 people – a rate significantly higher than the state as a whole.
During the same period Narrabri also led the region in hospitalisations caused by diabetes, and had the second-highest rate of hospitalisations caused by heart disease.
Gunnedah had the highest rate of people admitted to hospital because of heart disease.
The second-highest proportion of people hospitalised due to being overweight or obese was at Guyra, followed by Gwydir Shire.
Armidale had the lowest rate, which was in the same range as NSW.
Tamworth had the fifth highest rate of hospitalisations caused by being overweight or obese, of the 13 local government areas in the region.
This was substantially higher than that of the state.
Health problems caused by being overweight or obese have also grown more at Narrabri than any other area – it has recorded the largest growth in the rate of hospitalisations between 1998 and 2011.
Just four of the 13 local government areas in the region showed a decrease in the proportion of people hospitalised because of conditions related to a heavy weight during this period – Tenterfield, Moree Plains, Uralla and Glen Innes Severn.
A total of 36,353 hospitalisations were attributed to high body mass in NSW in 2010-11, which was about 1.3 per cent of all hospitalisations.
But 6.4 per cent of all deaths in NSW in that year were due to being overweight or obese.
According to the Australian Health Survey, 63.4 per cent of Australians aged 18 years and over were overweight or obese in 2011-12.
A further 35.2 per cent were of normal weight and 1.5 per cent were underweight.
The percentage of overweight and obese people has risen from 61.2 per cent in 2007-08 and 56.3 per cent in 1995.