Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 31 July 2018) . . Page.. 2418 ..
were overweight or obese. Longitudinal data show us that not only do Canberrans tend to put on weight as they age; there is also an increase between generations in body mass index.
This highlights the importance of instilling healthy habits from a young age, as children who are obese are more likely to continue so throughout their lifetime. Based on waist circumference, more than half of all ACT males and two-thirds of ACT females aged 18 years and over were at increased, or substantially increased, risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Vegetable consumption remains low for all Canberrans, with only one in 10 men and women, or to be precise 7.1 per cent and 13.6 per cent respectively, consuming the recommended five serves of vegetables per day. Our food environment and food marketing still make it easy to choose unhealthy foods and healthy eating messages can get crowded out. We still have a way to go and we still need to eat more veggies.
We know that lifestyle risk behaviours, including smoking, drinking alcohol, unsafe sex and illicit drug use are responsible for a large proportion of disease burden in the ACT. Individuals frequently make choices that impact their health. However, it is important to recognise that these health behaviours do not occur in a vacuum but are influenced by a complex interplay of factors. Reducing risk behaviours requires collaboration across multiple government and community sectors.
We have made excellent gains on smoking overall, with the daily smoking rate more than halving, from 22.5 per cent in 1998 to 9.5 per cent in 2016. However, it remains the leading contributor to the burden of disease in the ACT and there are pockets within the ACT community where smoking rates remain stubbornly high. These pockets include people with a mental illness, those with drug or alcohol dependencies, imprisoned people, the homeless, and those who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.
Canberrans want to reduce tobacco-related problems, and the ACT government has been working actively over a number of years to prevent the uptake of smoking and reduce the harms to the community from tobacco use. In recent years, the ACT government has taken action to limit the harmful effects of passive smoking and to reduce the exposure of children and young people to role-model smoking.
The government has done the following to limit effect of these. Specifically, in March 2016 the Smoke-Free Public Places Act 2003 was amended to allow for the establishment of new smoke-free public places and events by ministerial declaration. In September 2016, play spaces managed by the ACT government were declared smoke and vape-free. In October 2017, public transport waiting areas were declared smoke and vape-free. Smoke-free policies are also in place in the ACT in the grounds of many major facilities, including all hospitals and ACT Health facilities, ACT government schools, all tertiary institutions, the GIO Stadium and Manuka Oval.
Risky alcohol consumption remains a continuing issue for the ACT and Australia as a whole. However, we are seeing some declines in the proportion of the ACT population aged 14 years and over who drank alcohol at levels considered risky