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Poor lifestyle choices increase Western Australian healthcare costs by $900 Million

Date posted: 7 February 2018

West Australian (WA) people making poor lifestyle choices are driving up healthcare costs, with chronic diseases that could be avoided adding almost $900 million a year. The latest figures from WA Health show bad lifestyles are contributing to a sick State, with the total hospital bill for potentially preventable chronic diseases reaching $868.9 Million.

The risky lifestyle choices include smoking, excess drinking, overeating, bad diets of high sugar and fat, lack of physical activity and drug use.

WA Health Minister, Hon Roger Cook, is aiming to address the growing crisis of obesity and alcohol abuse at the State’s inaugural Preventive Health Summit, to be held on March 2. It will bring together 150 key health promotion and public health specialists. Mr Cook said the Ted Talk style summit would 'explore and initiate new measures that can stem and reverse alarming trends associated with obesity and use of alcohol in WA. About 31 per cent of the burden of chronic disease in Australia could be prevented if less people were overweight and here in WA we have a growing obesity epidemic which needs to be turned around,' said the Minister.

Australian Medical Association WA president Dr Omar Khorshid said the summit should consider the need for a revamped Healthway organisaiton that properly addressed the need to disassociate unhealthy messages with sport and other public events.

'We don’t want to be a nanny State, but we need to recognise the powerful relationships that junk food, alcohol and gambling companies have in linking their products with sport and the impact it has on our society. Healthway had some good runs on the board in the past but it’s not as targeted anymore and there is now a hole in this area of public health promotion in WA. I think this summit is a good way for us to discuss how to fill that gap and make sure that we’re not linking healthy activities with unhealthy products,' said Dr Khorshid.

Source: Perth Now

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Last updated: 7 February 2018
 
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