The conversations of life

Do low incomes create obesity and high incomes alcoholics?


Imagine a suburb where 70 per cent of residents are obese or a suburb where one in five residents is a dangerous drinker.

trackerLaunched this week, Australia’s Health Tracker by Area has revealed huge disparities in risk factors such as smoking, drinking, diabetes and high blood pressure between suburbs just a few kilometres apart.

The best example – Sydney. Blue-collar St Marys and Colyton topped the list of the biggest suburbs – literally – with nearly 70 per cent of the population obese or overweight, followed by suburbs including Fairfield, Campbelltown, Rosemeadow and Leppington.

Living dangerously

In upmarket Mosman, 25 per cent of people were classed as risky drinkers, while over 20 per cent of those in Manly, Balmain, Lilyfield, North Sydney and the inner Sydney and Bondi were boozing up.

Elitist and isolationist Cronulla and Bundeena were the worst offenders for risky drinking, with over 28 per cent of people aged 15 and over having more than the recommended two drinks a day.

The people with the lowest BMIs were found in the inner city at Haymarket and The Rocks, with Chatswood, Cremorne, North Sydney and Mosman not far behind.

So it seems that money can buy you a longer life – as long as you’re not drinking yourself to death.

(Excuse our cheeky photograph, but we couldn’t resist it.)

With a background in nursing, Annie has spent over 20 years working in the health industry, including the coordination of medical support for international TV productions and major stadium events, plus education campaigns with a number of national health organisations. In recent years, she has also taken time out of the workforce to be a full-time carer, giving her first-hand experience of the challenges and rewards of this role.

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