Retiring doctor tells 'fat' city: Stop eating fast-food

A RETIRING Ipswich doctor has issued a stern warning to the city's residents -make time to cook or continue to top the charts as one of the state's most unhealthy regions.

This week Dr John Jackson worked his last day at Grange Road Medical Centre marking the end of a 40-year career caring for Ipswich residents' health.

He says the tendency to favour fast food over "simple, healthy home cooking" is the biggest health challenge facing the city leading to heart attacks, heart failure and chest pain.

Last month Ipswich was named the second worst region in Queensland for heart related hospital admissions.

The ranking adds to the city's reputation as one of the most obese, overweight and inactive regions in the state.

That's an issue Dr Jackson has seen first-hand, including treating patients with diabetes caused by prolonged unhealthy lifestyles and poor eating habits. 

One of Dr Jackson's common lessons on healthy eating was sending patients to McCafe and telling them to inspect the energy - which will be converted to fat if unburnt - listed for each food item.

Dr John Jackson
Dr John Jackson David Nielsen

"It blows one's mind how a muffin can be one third of our daily kilojoule requirements," Dr Jackson said.

"Overall in society we seem to have downgraded the worth of simple healthy home cooking."

According to the Heart Foundation, 73.3 per cent of Ipswich residents are overweight or obese - the fourth most obese region in Queensland behind Mackay, Townsville and the Darling Downs.

>>YOUR GUIDE: 50 ways to get fit for free this month in Ipswich

Dr Jackson said it was too easy to blame the statistics on an increasing abundance of fast-food outlets.

Instead he says the community as a whole needs to consider the underlying reasons as to why this type of food is a popular choice.

"I wonder if the underlying reasons in our society relate to the need for example in a two parent household that both parents work - and often full time," Dr Jackson said.  

"There just isn't enough time in the day to then prepare healthy food.

"It is too easy to blame fast food outlets."

How many kilojoules are enough? 

  • The recommended intake for an adult is 8700kJ a day

**Ipswich City Council has continually won awards from the Heart Foundation for its initiatives encouraging residents to exercise more. 


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