Country women help spread healthy motto
QUEENSLAND Country Women's Association cooks are set to help beat obesity in the bush, partnering up with the State Government.
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg joined the QCWA state president and members to mark the beginning of a partnership that will deliver a program aimed at making Queensland the healthiest state.
Speaking from the Ekka, Mr Springborg said the QCWA had provided unprecedented community service, particularly to rural and remote communities, for almost 100 years.
"With its strong connection to rural and remote communities, the QCWA will help us in our quest to improve the health and wellbeing of Queenslanders," Mr Springborg said.
Mr Springborg said nearly $2 million will be invested over three years and the new initiative would form part of the 'Healthier. Happier.' campaign that has been running since late last year.
"This program will see the QCWA travel around the state, delivering nutritionist-led cooking demonstrations in local communities, and using local produce to highlight the health benefits of a better diet.
"Local residents will have access to fully-qualified and registered nutritionists, giving them the opportunity to seek advice on how to better their diet, and how to cook simple nutritious meals that were also cheap and quick."
Mr Springborg said there was a higher percentage of overweight and obese adults living in regional, rural and remote areas of Queensland and these rates were continuing to rise.
"As we know, Queensland has the highest rates of obesity in the country and for this reason we launched the Healthier. Happier. campaign," he said.
"The campaign has already made a significant impact in the state and our recent market research shows the recall to be higher in regional Queensland areas.
"We want to do more as these communities face unique challenges and the QCWA is the perfect partner to help us. They understand these challenges and can really connect with those we're trying to reach."
Obesity and overweight are risk factors in developing chronic diseases including Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, some forms of cancer and stroke.
"We know the rates of some chronic diseases and other lifestyle-related illnesses are higher in rural and remote areas."
Mr Springborg said he hoped people would be encouraged and inspired to change their habits and behaviours.