If the Murrumbidgee was 100 people

The Murrumbidgee Local Health District has released their health statistics for 2016, and the results provide a snapshot of general health in our local region.

The district encompasses the area from Lake Cargelligo out to Young and Hay and down to Tocumwal on the Victorian border, including Wagga, Griffith, and West Wyalong. It takes in 33 towns in total. Tumut, Adelong-Batlow, Tumbarumba and Gundagai all fall within the MLHD.

According to the statistics there are more people of an unhealthy weight than a healthy weight here. Thirty-seven per cent are of a recommended weight or below, with 28 overweight and 35 obese.

In better news, nearly half of MLHD residents have not so much as tried smoking. 10 per cent have given it a go but have never smoked regularly, three smoke occasionally, 25 per cent have quit, and only 15 out of 100 people smoke daily.

About a third of people are adequately physically active, and two thirds should be lacing up their running shoes a bit more often, according to the health service.

Twenty-nine people out of 100 drink to levels that put their health at risk, and 10 per cent of residents have diabetes.

It seems that getting enough fruit and vegetables is quite a rarity, which is a shame considering all the fresh produce grown in the region. Only eight people out of 100 are eating their recommended daily serves of vegetables, but 43 per cent are eating the recommended amount of fruit.

On the other hand, though, most people seem pretty happy with the state of their health.

Seventy-three percent self-report their health as being ‘excellent, very good, or good,’ with 27 per cent perceiving their own health as being ‘fair, poor, or very poor.’

The MLHD also provides an idea of how our kids are doing, and the scorecard is mixed.

They are far more likely to be a healthy weight than local adults, with 77 per cent being of the recommended weight or below. However, out of every 100, only 10 are eating enough vegetables, 34 are getting the recommended amount of physical activity, and 40 are spending more than two hours a day doing sedentary (not involving movement) leisure activities.

Sixty seven are eating enough fruit, and almost all MLHD kids are fully immunised – 95 per cent at one year old, and 96 per cent at five years old.

Seventy-two per cent are being taken to the dentist at least once a year, making for lots of bright smiles in the Murrumbidgee.