Putting the ‘berg’ (and probably eating the ‘Bun’) in Bundaberg, this sugar town’s residents have clearly been enjoying too much of its home-grown white stuff, as the Adelaide University’s Public Health Information Development Unit has revealed them to be the nation’s fattest.

The study showed that almost a quarter of the adult population of the Wide Bay town, just north of Brisbane, are classified as obese. Closely followed by Kempsey in New South Wales and another Queensland sugar town, Bowen, all 10 of the fattest towns were revealed to be in NSW and Queensland.

Steve Hambleton of the Australian Medical Association told The Courier Mail that the problem came from people’s inability to cook for themselves properly. “Everyone [in schools] should be taught how to prepare and cook food,” he said. “This should be in the national curriculum.”

Australia as a whole is loosening the notches on its belt, with around 60% of Aussies classified as overweight, and it’s been projected that type 2 diabetes could affect a third of the population by 2025.

Health nutrition and fitness experts are calling for the deadly obesity crisis to be tackled with the same determination policymakers once took to fighting smoking.


1 Bundaberg (QLD) 24.45

2 Kempsey (NSW) 24.41

2 Bowen (QLD) 24.41

4 Maryborough (QLD) 24.31

5 Lithgow (NSW) 24.20

6 Cessnock (NSW) 23.86

7 Nambucca (NSW) 23.80

8 Broken Hill (NSW) 23.79

9 Parkes (NSW) 23.66

10 Inverell (NSW) 23.33

(Rates per 100 people)


Outside of Queensland and NSW, the worst areas for obesity are:

Northern Territory: Palmerston 23.3

South Australia: Port Augusta 23.2

Western Australia: Carnarvon and Northam, both 22.3

Victoria: Central Goldfields 21.3

Tasmania: 21.1 Dorset