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Tassie plan to beat national fat title

AAP logoAAP 16/11/2016 Andrew Drummond

Put down the pie and do some exercise.

That's the crux of the Tasmanian government's message to the state's population, which has the unenviable title of being the fattest in the nation.

Queensland on Wednesday proudly announced that new data showed its residents have tightened their belts, falling into the shadow of first-placed Tassie.

"It is an issue we are very aware of and responding to," the southern state's Liberal Health Minister Michael Ferguson told AAP.

"The Healthy Tasmania five-year strategic plan ... launched in July, focuses on two priority areas - one of which is reducing the levels of overweight and obese people in the community.

"The plan flags a focus on promoting greater physical activity and better nutrition."

The latest ABS data showed 32 per cent of adults in Tasmania are obese and 67 per cent are considered overweight or obese.

The latest Health of Queenslanders 2016 report put 30 per cent of Queensland adults in the obese category, while 65 per cent were overweight or obese.

The Australian Medical Association early in November released its updated position statement on obesity, calling on the federal government to show leadership on the serious health threat.

Among its recommendations are a continued focus on children and adolescents, a sugar tax, improved nutritional literacy, and stronger controls on junk food advertising targeted at young people.

Tasmania's plan has an emphasis on working with schools and families.

"Evidence shows that the early years are critical for developing healthy habits for life," Mr Ferguson said.

"We are very keen to promote action at the grassroots level."

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