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According to health experts three-in-four workers in the mining industry are overweight, with Queensland mining town Mount Isa a chronic disease hotspot.
Last week Diabetes Queensland backed concerns by the Australian Medical Association about Mount Isa’s obesity figures.
The AMA said the unhealthy lifestyle habits of many miners were contributing to the development of a range of chronic diseases.
Diabetes Queensland CEO Michelle Trute told the ABC the community needed to be aware type 2 diabetes was deadly and was Queensland’s fastest growing disease.
She said because of their lifestyle mining and shift workers were especially vulnerable.
“Where you’ve got a high proportion of shift workers and where you’ve got a high proportion of workers who don’t have a lot of opportunities throughout the day to move around and walk around – they’re the sort of things that are going to increase the likelihood of being obese,” she said.
Trute said Diabetes Queensland was doing a lot of work in Queensland’s mining industry on educating workers about developing a healthy lifestyle.
She said the organisation had been visiting a McCarthur Coal Mine near Mackay and speaking to workers.
“We all need to take personal responsibility for our health. We are the only ones who can ensure we don’t become the next statistic,” she said.