A regional health care organisation in Blacktown has set up a special committee to tackle the problem that may be caused by 60 per cent of Australian adults being overweight or obese.
An increase of type 2 diabetes affects more than 7 per cent of the population in some areas of western Sydney, which is 3 per cent higher than the national average.
Diabetes hotspots include Holroyd (7.6 per cent), Blacktown (7.2 per cent), Auburn (6.7 per cent) and Parramatta (6.4 per cent).
Responding to a new health report that 60 per cent of Australian adults are now obese, western Sydney Medicare Local (WentWest), chief executive officer Walter Kmet said health care professionals were uniting in response to the national study.
‘‘ A major step in tackling the problem at a local level has been the establishment of the Western Sydney Diabetes Prevention and Management Steering Committee,’’ he said.
‘‘The committee, made up of representatives from WentWest, WSLHD, GPs, allied health, consumer and other multi-sector partners, will be responsible for integrating and streamlining diabetes services across the region.
‘‘It will call on the public, private and non-government sectors to work collaboratively on achieving better health outcomes for western Sydney.’’
WentWest will also expand prevention initiatives, such as WentWest’s SHAPE program, to offer high-risk individuals an opportunity to improve their lifestyle habits under the watchful eye of a health care professional.
“Programs such as SHAPE have been designed to educate patients on diet and nutrition, encourage a more active lifestyle and prevent the rise of chronic disease in the region,’’ Mr Kmet said.
‘‘The committee will also launch the Western Sydney Diabetes Prevention and Management Plan later this year to detail the ways local health care system will work together to tackle the problem in an integrated and multi-disciplinary way.’’